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Emma Seppälä, author of The Happiness Track, explains the proven benefits of a positive outlook; simple ways to increase your sense of well-being; and why it’s not about being ecstatic or excited all the time. Audio IdeaCast available too.

Jumping business executive man and woman in photo shot by corporate Los Angeles photographerSARAH GREEN CARMICHAEL: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green Carmichael. Today, I’m talking with Emma Seppala, science director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She’s the author of the brand new book, The Happiness Track, How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success. Emma, thank you so much for talking with us today.

EMMA SEPPALA: Oh, you’re more than welcome. I’m happy to be here.

SARAH GREEN CARMICHAEL: So I thought we should just start by talking about how you define success in the purposes of the book because you started, I thought was really interesting, with a quote from late poet Maya Angelou, who actually was one of my all-time favorite interviews that we’ve done on the IdeaCast. That was a few years ago. But she stuck out in my mind.

Jumping business executive man and woman in photo shot by corporate Los Angeles photographer

© photo by Gregory Mancuso – Jumping business executive man and woman in photo shot by corporate Los Angeles photographer

And the quote you start with is, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” So was that your working definition for success in the book? Or did you have a different way of thinking about it? And does money come into it at all?

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