The Science of Thriving: Empowering Your Life in the Lab

The Science of Thriving: Empowering Your Life in the LabAnyone who has worked in a lab for more than a month understands that with the great excitement of research also comes frustration. This is part of the process of working at the forefront of knowledge–some ideas are going to work and some aren’t. As scientists, our job is to make advances in our understanding of the world around us and that doesn’t always come easily. However, we understand (first hand!) the toll that failed experiments can have on our attitude, motivation, and general outlook on career prospects. But if “understanding our experiments” is a matter of science, then how is “understanding our success” any different? Glad you asked…
As weeks in the lab turn into months, and months into years, it’s not uncommon for us to narrow our blinders–focusing exclusively on our one area of expertise and our one career goal. The downside of intense, prolonged hyperfocus is that when we do finally pause to look around we may not recognize (or like) the place in life where we find ourselves. We’re not calling for a lack of focus, but rather an occasional perspective check: what are we doing, are we still happy with where we’re headed, are there opportunities that we’d like to pursue that we’re missing?

In other words: Am I still “thriving” in my current situation?

If this question gives you pause (“I’d never use the word ‘thrive’ to describe my project in lab…”), then take note. Why shouldn’t you be thriving–not just in the lab, but personally? If I’m not “thriving”, am I in trouble? Is there any way to regain control of my drive, success, and ultimately happiness?

Yes! Dr. Heidi Halvorson, Director of the Columbia University Motivational Science Center, has organized a FREE online conference this week that brings together over 20 scientists and experts to discuss The Science of Thriving. The conference addresses proven beliefs and strategies for success based on rigorously tested science-based advice. Many of the speakers will be recognizable for their previous TED talks. How is that not worth a few hours of our time each evening this week?!

While the conference is not explicitly directed toward the success of “life scientists in the laboratory”, the principles are generally applicable. If we can’t figure out how to apply talks like “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently“, “Choke: The Secret to Performing Under Pressure“, or “Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed and How We Can Stick to the Plan” to our life in the lab, then maybe we’ve got bigger problems…

So every evening this week while you’re waiting for that reaction to complete or that gel to finish running, take a few minutes for yourself and attend the conference. What have you got to lose?

Click here to register (only an email address required):


Disclaimer: We have no vested interest (other than wanting you to succeed!) in whether or not you attend this conference. We are sharing it simply because it looks interesting and we thought it would be worthwhile to attend.

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