“The happiest person is the person doing good stuff for good reasons.”
— Kennon Sheldon
Dr. Kennon Sheldon is a psychologist at the University of Missouri who studies motivation, goals, and well-being, from both a self-determination theory and a positive psychology perspective. He has authored or co-authored multiple books, including “Optimal human being: An integrated multi-level perspective”. Dr. Sheldon has been cited more than 30,000 times, and in 2010, he was named one of the 20 most cited social psychologists.
In this wide-ranging episode we discuss:
- How Ken went from aspiring musician to leading research on goals
- Whether the pursuit of happiness is worth it
- Is happiness in your genes?
- The link between goals and happiness
- The what and why of motivated goal pursuit
- The basic needs of self-determination theory
- Deprivation vs. growth needs
- Self-concordance theory
- The link between values and happiness
- How much can we use science as a guide to values?
- Are there some ways of being more conducive to happiness than others?
- How to get in touch with your OVP (organismic valuing process)
- Marrying positive psychology and humanistic psychology
- The relationship between personal goals and personal projects
- How to know when to change your goals
- The good life: well-being or well-doing?