Todd Kashdan is a Professor at George Mason University.
He is also the author of a number of books including ‘Curious’ which Arianna Huffington said is ‘One of those rare books that can make you rethink how you see the world’. He recently delivered a TEDx talk on ‘Becoming a Mad Scientist With Your Life’.
Todd is the embodiment of living life large. Always enthusiastic and passionate (sometimes scarily so). He has made significant contributions to the science of social psychology and well being.
I love what he has to say about the tensions involved in doing work that really matters whilst also maintaining important relationships:
‘If the greatest currency we have is our time and energy, Is it better spent trying to grab more positive moments or is it better spent moving down the road towards the things that matter most to us? If I think about my own life I have this great conflict between being really passionate about my work and trying to inspire people and then taking care of my kids and helping them grow. And often at about 5 o’clock, like most working parents, there is this conflict which is, I am in an amazing space, I have got three Homer muses that are loving me and helping me to write but I know that my kids bedtime is coming up. Do I go home and make sure I can read them a story and get in contact with them before they go to sleep or do I ride out the muse knowing that this could be big bucks here, if I have a great idea?
When I get in touch with my values about trying to be a father who is present in the growth of my children’s lives, when I just have that reminder, it becomes so simple for me to deal with the strain of this great idea that will never be found again, potentially, and go home. I will do it later and if it is half of what it might have been then that is the life I want to lead. So that is the fundamental foundation of wellbeing. It is values’
My summary of this – You can’t have it all, sometimes you have to choose. And that is okay.