Interview with Leah Weiss, PhD, Author and Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business: leahweissphd.com.
Leah Weiss is based in Palo Alto, CA and is available for consulting and speaking engagements throughout the United Speaks. To learn more, contact her here.
Tell us about your mission and your new book.
My mission is to help people avoid the Sunday Blues — we spend more than 90,000 hours of our lives working. Why go to a job every day that you struggle with? Why dread Monday morning? My goal in writing this book is to help people look forward to Mondays again through compassion-based training, mindfulness tactics, research-backed tactics, and through the simple understanding of why and how it is imperative to find and know your purpose at work.
What motivated you to get started?
I realized that the answer to loving your life is to also love what you do – in every single thing that you do, including work. This means dispelling the notion of a ‘work/life’ balance and, instead, learning how to find a work/life rhythm. The difference is that a rhythm doesn’t try to separate work from life, it just helps us to find a pattern to all of it — because, when we break it down, there’s no separation. You can’t avoid bringing your whole self to work and you can’t avoid bringing work into your personal life. I want to help everyone that has ever felt lost, angry, discouraged, or frustrated at work find their purpose, regain their sanity, and learn to love all of life.
What successes have you seen so far?
I love getting early reader responses — everything suddenly clicks when people realize that finding purpose at work is really very easy to do. I have also seen great success with corporate leadership and the consulting work that I do to train leadership in compassion-based management tactics. Really, compassion within company culture begins with leadership.
What have been the challenges?
Mindfulness! The word ‘mindfulness’ has been so overused that people instantly balk at it – they think yoga mats, sitting meditation, and Buddhism. Most people have to be taught to relearn the word for what it really means: focus. Compassion is also a challenging concept for most people (simply because it is so foreign in the workplace), but once these words are better understood in the context that I am using them, people really begin to love the work I’m trying to do.