An Im-perfectionists Takes on Career Mistakes
Tal Ben-Shahar is an author and lecturer at Harvard University. He currently teaches the largest course at Harvard on "Positive Psychology" and the third largest on "The Psychology of Leadership"--with a total of over 1,400 students.
Tal consults and lectures around the world to executives in multi-national corporation, the general public, and at-risk populations. Topics include happiness, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, mindfulness, and leadership.
An avid sportsman, Tal won the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National squash championships. He obtained his PhD in Organizational Behavior and BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Harvard.
Question: What is the worst mistake you've made in your career?
Tal Ben-Shahar: It's very difficult for me to answer this question about worst mistake, especially after having written a book about the importance of mistakes. So I can only think of best mistakes that I've made; you know, mistakes that I've learned from. And it could be mistakes in terms of taking on too many things, saying yes to too many things instead of simplifying my life. It could be the mistakes of doing things that were for the sake of getting accolades as opposed to things that were self-determined, that came from within, things that have been really -- that I was passionate about. Or the mistakes of not being nice enough to people in authority, and I've very often paid a price for that.
Recorded on: September 23, 2009
Tal Ben Shahar wrote the book on avoiding the drive for perfectionism and enjoying an imperfect life. So what does he say about his own career regrets?
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