TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Research: Why Breathing Is So Effective at Reducing Stress

When U.S. Marine Corp Officer Jake D.'s vehicle drove over an explosive device in Afghanistan, he looked down to see his legs almost completely severed below the knee. At that moment, he remembered a breathing exercise he had learned in a book for young officers. Thanks to that exercise, he was able to stay calm enough to check on his men, give orders to call for help, tourniquet his own legs, and remember to prop them up before falling unconscious. Later, he was told that had he not done so, he would have bled to death.

If a simple breathing exercise could help Jake under such extreme duress, similar techniques can certainly help the rest of us with our more common workplace stresses. The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and battles for social justice have only exacerbated the anxiety that many of us feel every day, and studies show that this stress is interfering with our ability to do our best work. But with the right breathing exercises, you can learn to handle your stress and manage negative emotions.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

What Kind of Happiness Do People Value Most?

Sure, everyone wants to be happy. But what kind of happiness do people want? Is it happiness experienced moment-to-moment? Or is it being able to look back and remember a time as happy? Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman described this distinction as "being happy in your life" versus "being happy about your life." Take a moment to ask yourself, which happiness are you seeking?

This might seem like a needless delineation; after all, a time experienced as happy is often also remembered as happy. An evening spent with good friends over good food and wine will be experienced and remembered happily. Similarly, an interesting project staffed with one's favorite colleagues will be fun to work on and look back on.

But the two don't always go hand in hand.

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TradeBriefs: What's important, not just what's popular!

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

When You Realize You'll Never Get Your Dream Job

I once had dreams of becoming like Bruce Springsteen. Now, at age 62, I write about him, go to his shows, sing along to his songs in my car, teach my children about his significance, use his works in my Wharton classes, and even serve as a Guest DJ on E Street Radio. But despite my earlier wishes to live a successful musical performer's life, it's not going to happen. I'm not Springsteen, and never will be.

And that's OK.

We often say to children, "You can be whatever you want to be." But, at some point along the path to adulthood, you come to accept that maybe you're really not going to be a professional basketball player, or an astronaut, or the president, or a rock star. Maybe you just don't have the aptitude, or the drive, or the skills to make your fantasy mesh with your reality. Part of reaching maturity means coming to know ourselves - our strengths and our limitations - figuring out how our gifts can realistically flourish in the world.

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TradeBriefs: What's important, not just what's popular!

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