Caroline Beaton is a psychology, culture and health writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Vice, Psychology Today and others. She lives in Denver, Colorado. You can find her at carolinebeaton.com and subscribe to her newsletter at carolinebeaton.com/signup.
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/carolinesbeaton Twitter: @cs_beaton
Instagram: @cs_beaton Facebook: facebook.com/csbeaton
Speaking & Media Reel
Featured Speaking & Workshop Topics
Caroline delivers customized talks. Below are two samples from previous events.
“The Failure Spiral”: Why One Failure Makes Us More Likely to Fail Again—And What to Do About It
Summary: When animals, be them tadpole or human, win at something, their brains release testosterone and dopamine. With time and repetition, this signal morphs the brain’s structure and chemical configuration to make successful animals smarter, better trained, more confident and more likely to succeed in the future. Biologists call it the Winner Effect.
Though discussed less often, the corollary also happens. When we fail once, we’re more likely to fail again at the same goal—and sometimes more catastrophically. Contrary to Nietzsche’s adage, what doesn’t kill us often makes us weaker. Monkeys perform worse after messing up; humans have less willpower. I call this the Failure Spiral: it’s the scientific explanation for when it rains, it pours.
Failure is inevitable. How we move forward from failure determines whether it becomes a biologically ingrained habit or a spotty memory. Unfortunately, we often do exactly the wrong things after failing, thereby perpetuating it. This speech will address what the Failure Spiral is, why it happens and how to fix it.
The Professional Purpose Equation: How Millennials Can Cultivate Meaningful Work
Summary: Like many my age, I graduated college and moved abroad (to Vancouver, Canada) because I thought it was “exotic” and therefore existentially significant. I wound up a secretary, an unfulfilling job for me, and concluded that “you can’t drive to purpose.” I’ve spent the last three years researching better vehicles of purpose through the lens of modern psychology.
Despite Gen Y's preoccupation with purpose, many of us are failing to find it. Seventy percent of millennials, who account for half America’s workforce, are disengaged at work. I argue that we're accidentally postponing purpose by prioritizing the wrong things: We’re job hopping, traveling, following our passions, delaying commitments like marriage and homes and keeping our options open—all in the name of purpose.
Modern psychology has replaced these misguided assumptions with new research on the underlying, ever-attainable constituents of meaningful work. My speech is dedicated to five of these countercultural, counterintuitive findings. As evidence dismantles our excuses, it’s about time we all create professional purpose.