The path to less stress? Strategic pessimism.

The key to happiness is being less optimistic and accepting a certain amount of unhappiness.

  • The centuries old philosophy of Stoicism may hold the key to a kind of happiness that is more grounded in reality.
  • The two main ideas of stoic happiness are that problems are caused by your reactions to events not the events themselves, and the only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions.
  • Choosing strategic pessimism over optimism and positive thinking is one way to avoid "unnecessary disturbance and anxiety."
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Age gives you an edge in the workplace. Here’s how.

60 is the new 30, says Melanie Katzman. Embrace your age and the benefits that come with it.

  • Melanie Katzman has 30 years of experience in her field, yet was advised to tell people she had just 20 years of experience so she wouldn't seem too out of touch.
  • Katzman strongly disagrees with that assessment of age in the workplace. Rather than see it as a liability, older professionals should embrace their age and experience. They can see patterns more broadly, plus they have deep network connections, information, and the desire to be generous.
  • "Research shows us that generativity flows downhill," says Katzman. "... New recruits and aging boomers can really change the world together but we have to not be afraid of stating our age."
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Want to be a better leader? Take off the mask.

The best leaders don't project perfection. Peter Fuda explains why.

  • There are two kinds of masks leaders wear. Executive coach Peter Fuda likens one to The Phantom of the Opera—projecting perfectionism to hide feelings of inadequacy—and the other to The Mask, where leaders assume a persona of toughness or brashness because they imagine it projects the power needed for the position.
  • Both of those masks are motivated by self-protection, rather than learning, growth and contribution. "By the way," says Fuda, "your people know you're imperfect anyway, so when you embrace your imperfections they know you're honest as well."
  • The most effective leaders are those who try to perfect their craft rather than try to perfect their image. They inspire a culture of learning and growth, not a culture where people are afraid to ask for help.

To learn more, visit peterfuda.com.

#9: Depression is different for everyone. Here's what it's like for me. | Top 10 2019

The countdown continues! In this video, comedian Pete Holmes likens depression to quicksand and provides a method to help you cope and with it.

  • Big Think's #9 most popular video of 2019 illustrates that everyone's experience with depression is different, but for comedian Pete Holmes the key to living with depression has been to observe his own thoughts in an impartial way.
  • Holmes' method, taught to him by psychologist and spiritual leader Ram Dass, is to connect to his base consciousness and think about himself and his emotions in the third person.
  • You can't push depression away, but you can shift your mindset to help better cope with depression, anxiety, and negative emotions. If you feel depressed, you can connect with a crisis counselor anytime in the US.
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John Cleese: ‘Does it make you laugh?’

Laughing is so contagious that we often forget how subjective humor is.

  • People have very subjective senses of humor, which means some jokes may be funny to certain people but not at all for others.
  • It can be hard to notice just how subject humor is because laughter has an infectious effect on people. This phenomenon is especially true in large groups of people.
  • When it comes to reviewing what jokes to put into a show, test it on friends and family to see which parts evoke laughs from them and which parts don't.