‘Fully Charged’ research sheds light on loving life

By Jenniffer Weigel
Chicago Tribune.

Studying human behavior is a passion for author Tom Rath. “I’ve been doing this work for the last 10 to 15 years, and I still get surprised and inspired by the research,” said Rath, who has sold more than 6 million books, including best-sellers “How Full Is Your Bucket?” (Gallup Press) and “Eat Move Sleep” (Missionday).

His new book, “Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life” (Silicon Guild), draws on the latest research from business and psychology to discover the keys to loving life and being engaged at work. Following is an edited transcript of our conversation.

Q: You say in the book that money really doesn’t buy happiness. Can you explain?

A: Now that it’s so much easier to survey people and ping them on their smartphone … as a result of all this expansion of information and connectedness we now know a lot about what creates true well-being in the moment. The highest amount of positive experiences come where you’re having a real good day, making a difference to other people and feel rested and fully charged. You (don’t) have to be rich to be full of rich experiences.

Q: You write that a lack of sleep costs our economy $63 billion in productivity.

A: Sleep is a priority, not an expense to cut so you can be on email at 1 in the morning. It’s been refreshing for me to see some business leaders and leaders in the military talking about how you can’t have people working in these important jobs who have no sleep. That’s an equivalent of having a six pack of beer in their system. So when you start to compare sleeplessness with intoxication of alcohol, it becomes a lot easier to help people make those decisions about prioritizing sleep.

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