Yale Expert: Rethinking Hard Work for Happiness

Yale Expert
Yale Expert

Contrary to the popular hustle culture advocating constant work for success and happiness, Laurie Santos, the psychology professor behind Yale University’s renowned course on happiness, emphasizes the detrimental effects of overworking. The misconception that achieving financial milestones, such as earning a million dollars, will lead to happiness often results in a cycle of continuous hustle without attaining fulfillment.

Working excessively can contribute to stress, depression, and burnout, negatively impacting both health and job performance. Santos challenges the idea that success is solely derived from relentless effort, urging people to prioritize sleep, rest, and social connections for genuine happiness. Research supports the significance of quality sleep and strong social connections in enhancing life satisfaction.

The prevalent hustle culture, which promotes optimizing every moment for productivity and sacrificing sleep and relationships for work, has been linked to the concept of workaholism. Santos emphasizes the need for breaks in the workplace and regular interactions with family and friends as essential components of well-being.

Recent shifts in perspectives, as reflected in a GoDaddy survey of small-business owners, suggest a changing definition of the American Dream, with a growing emphasis on feeling happy in life over traditional markers of wealth. The evolving mindset reflects a recognition of the importance of freedom, comfort, and flexibility, aligning with Santos’ emphasis on the significance of rest and social connections in achieving true happiness.

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