Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life?

Robert Waldinger shares three important lessons learned on how to build a fulfilling, long life.  This extensive data-driven Harvard study reminds us what we already know but often fail to prioritize and invest in over the course of our career and life.

As I reflected on the wisdom shared by Robert Waldinger, it resonated with a few principles I have shared as part of the Career Strategy Framework:

  • Know what’s important – do your priorities and time include investing in relationships across your career and broader life? Many of us play multiple roles and there are often different relationship expectations for each of them.  What could we do in 2016 to exceed these expectations?
  • Know what you need to leave behind – challenging and painful relationships can impact your health and well-being.  Is there a relationship you need to leave behind in 2016 to realize a better life?
  • Know who to take this life journey with – the study reinforces how being in a secure, attached relationship can protect our brains and memory later in life.  What are you doing now to invest in that relationship of a lifetime?  What special or new events can you plan to reinvigorate the spark?
  • Connect – high quality social connections are critical to our health and well-being.  When your think about your typical weekly schedule are you making time to connect with people outside your work environment? The study also reinforced that loneliness kills – is there someone you can connect with today to bring hope and comfort?

We all know how important social connections are to our longevity and happiness.   Perhaps it’s because this fact is so simple and well understood that we often lose sight of it during the normal course of a busy work schedule.  We put off creating new and deepening existing relationships by justifying that we will get to it in the next week or so.  Perhaps it’s because a relationship is not as tangible as a work deliverable.

Relationships take time and there is no silver bullet to make our lives full of loving people.  As we embark on 2016 I encourage you to hone your “connectedness” skill with the hopes of advancing satisfaction in your career and life.  Happy New Year!

What is your value proposition?


I work for the most amazing company that invests in and empowers its employees to achieve more each day. Quest stop #63 landed in Dallas to lead a workshop for a technical leadership development program at Microsoft.

A select group of 80+ employees took part in a 2-day conference that included delivering their career strategy to a panel of leaders for coaching. I became involved in this program 2 years ago given my work across Microsoft helping fellow employees craft a story to communicate their strategic direction. The workshop included an overview of the 7 career strategy framework principles with example artifacts to reinforce the key points.   As I reflected on the event there was one principle that stood out as the topic of conversation during the workshop and dinner – the value proposition.

Think Big, Think Change in 2015

Wired for Success - James Gray

Tuesday was stop #54 on my world tour to help people refine their career strategy (and perhaps a bit of life strategy too!).   The event was sponsored by the Women of Advertising and Consumer Monetization at Microsoft with about 100+ attendees who joined in person and on the webcast.

We kicked off the lunch discussion by asking one important question to the room of 50+ people:

Who feels they have solid career strategy and plan ?
Nobody raised their hand.

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