To the strivers and workaholics out there, bestselling author and Harvard professor Arthur C. Brooks has a message for you: change your behavior before it’s too late. Brooks was one of you: a pace-setting boss who expected others to work 80-hour weeks just like him, leaving little time for friends and family. He says he was addicted not to work, but to success. And he missed watching his kids grow up.
Today he classifies behavior like his as a pathology that can lead to misery. And he has concrete, actionable advice for increasing your life’s happiness. In fact, he writes about it in a regular column for The Atlantic.
For this episode of our video series “The New World of Work”, HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius sat down with Brooks, co-author (with Oprah Winfrey) of “Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier”, to discuss:
· What’s caused the severe dip in general happiness in the last few years?
· The two traits of those who find true happiness in their work
· The difference between “deal friends” and “real friends”. The real kind are “beautifully useless” and you need them more than deal friends
Happiness is contagious, Brooks says, and just being in a happy person’s vicinity can make you happier. “But,” he says, “even more contagious is misery.”
This interview part of a series called “The New World of Work,” which explores how top-tier executives see the future and how their companies are trying to set themselves up for success. Each week, Adi will interview a leader on LinkedIn Live — and then share an inside look at those conversations and solicit questions for future discussions in a newsletter just for HBR subscribers. If you’re a subscriber, you can sign up for the newsletter here: https://hbr.org/my-library/preferences?movetile=newworldofwork.
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