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Dr. Michele M. Tugade

Could the secret to beating stress in our crazy world be as simple as “getting good at feeling good feelings”? Meet Dr. Michele M. Tugade, a top-notch psychologist and researcher who’s got some amazing, research-based ideas about the transformative magic of positive emotions. A renowned authority in the field of Positive Psychology, Dr. Tugade explains how welcoming feelings of joy, gratitude, and optimism into our lives can enhance our ability to navigate through challenges, lower our stress levels, and promote a better overall sense of well-being.

Michele M. Tugade, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Vassar College. Her research focuses on the function of positive emotions in the coping process and emotion-related processes associated with health and well-being. In this episode, Dr. Tugade and host Danielle Wiley delve into the science behind happiness and emotional agility — and reveal some practical strategies to foster everyday positivity.

Dr. Tugade lets us all in on a little secret: diving headfirst into feelings of joy, gratitude, and optimism can seriously upgrade our ability to deal with life’s ups and downs. Be sure to tune in to learn more about the impact of proactive positivity, as well as:

  • The intersections between positive and negative emotions, and why positive emotions can help fuel our ability to cope with stress
  • Why most of us in 2023 are dealing with an ‘allostatic load’ of chronic stress and life events
  • How to feel more positive emotions throughout the day and increase your parasympathetic nervous system
  • Why just 10 minutes in nature can make people happier and alleviate physical and mental stress
  • The seemingly-simple strategy of having a moment of reflection
  • Why we need to battle the loneliness and isolation epidemic with more meaningful social connections

About our guest: Dr. Michele Tugade is a Professor of Psychological Science on the William R. Kenen, Jr. Endowed Chair at Vassar College. She’s dedicated to sharing science with the broader community, and on a global scale, she has taught undergraduate and graduate medical students as a Visiting Professor at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, Africa. In her capacity as a researcher in the field of affective science and resilience, she has worked with organizations such as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NASA, Apple Inc., The United Way, and the University of Global Health Equity. Her research has been featured in a number of media outlets, including NPR, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and CNBC. Her most recent book is The Handbook of Positive Emotions (Guilford Press).

Episode 34: Dr. Michele M. Tugade

Danielle Wiley: Welcome to The Art of Sway, the podcast that uncovers the power of influence and its impact on all areas of our lives. I’m your host, Danielle Wiley. Each week we’ll explore the many facets of influence through candid conversations with industry insiders, from brand marketers to social workers, educators, leaders, and more. Let’s dive in.

Danielle Wiley: Dr. Michele Tugade is a professor of psychological science on the William R. Kenan, Jr. Endowed Chair at Vassar College. She teaches courses in the fields of health, psychology, and social psychology. As a researcher, she directs the Effective Science and Resilience Laboratory at Vassar College, where her students and collaborators conduct research on positive emotions, coping, and resilience. She is dedicated to sharing science with the broader community through public talks, keynote lectures, and workshops that focus on the topics of mental health, well-being, education, and women’s leadership.

Danielle Wiley: On a global scale, she has taught undergraduate and graduate medical students as a visiting professor at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, Africa. Dr. Tugade has worked with a number of organizations including NASA, Apple, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the United Way. You can find more information about Dr. Tugade’s research by reading her published articles and her book, The Handbook of Positive Emotions, as well as her column, Everyday Resilience. Her research has been featured in various media outlets including NPR, the New York Times, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, CNBC, and many others.

Danielle Wiley: I have known Michele for a long time. We met as undergrads at Vassar and have stayed connected ever since. I think Michele is the only friend I have from Vassar who’s actually working in a career that is related to her Vassar major, and I am so glad that she is. Her work on resilience and joy is so impressive and useful and provides just so much to the world. I have learned a ton by following her work throughout the years, and I hope you get just a piece of that from this fascinating conversation. Enjoy.

Danielle Wiley: Hi and welcome and I’m so happy to have you on. This is very exciting to me. So we’ve known each other a long time since we were teenagers.

Michele Tugade: Exactly.

Danielle Wiley: Crazy. So we met at Vassar in undergrad and then I was just telling our producer that it’s crazy because we both ended up in Ann Arbor after graduating, me for random reasons, but you were getting your PhD at the University of Michigan, and so we reconnected.

Michele Tugade: And here we are again.

Danielle Wiley: And here we are again. Our listeners aren’t lucky enough to know you and to have been able to follow your whole journey as it was happening. So it would be great if you could share your path from just how you’ve ended up where you are and doing the really interesting work that you’re doing, which I’m very excited to dive into.

Michele Tugade: First of all, thank you so much Danielle for inviting me. I love that we are reconnecting again and again and again. I just speaks to the beauty of our friendship and so I’m really excited to be a part of this. As you mentioned, our connection started at Vassar where we were both undergraduates and at the time… I’m from San Francisco, California. So undergrad was a clear across the country. And what got me interested in psychology was doing research at Vassar and I started to do research on the psychology of depression actually. So I was interested in looking at the negative consequences and how people cope with their depression. Looking at two different styles of coping. One was on distraction, going out and going to a party or reading something. So that’s a healthier form of coping with depression, going to exercise.

Michele Tugade: And another form which is the negative downward spiral coping style of depression was rumination. So in that work I discovered that there’s yet a third category of individuals which are resilient individuals. So my interest that I do to this day started at that point. So for a graduate school, I went where we met again at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and at the time, the field was just starting to study what’s called positive psychology. And up to that point, a lot of psychology was focused on the negative ailments that people experience, the disorders and the troubles that people experience. And of course it makes sense because that’s what we’re trying to help people alleviate. But there’s an entirely other aspect of our human experience, which are the positive emotions like joy, love, contentment, exuberance. And that is what I really wanted to study.

Michele Tugade: So a lot of the work that I did there was looking at the intersections between positive and negative emotions. And that is some of the work that I started there is what I’m doing today that looking at how positive emotions like joy and gratitude can help fuel our ability to cope with stress. After grad school, I did my postdoctoral work at the Boston College where it was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. And we were looking at… At the time modern technology was using beepers and handheld computers. It was before apps were in our existence, but we were looking at how to tap people to run experiments out in the world, not in a laboratory, but as you’re walking around in your daily life, which we’re so used to now carrying our smartphones. And it would beep people and we would ask them how they were feeling at the moment and looking at a number of different aspects of their lives, how socially connected they were, how are they coping in different contexts.

Michele Tugade: So that really inspired me to think about, well, what do we do out in the world with our emotions? Does some of the laboratory studies that I’ve done actually translate when we’re living our lives? After my post-doctoral fellowship, I was on the market to look for a job and my dream job at Vassar College was available at the time and I applied and I’m back where I went to undergrad and I have the luxury and the gift of being able to teach undergraduates some of the things, and inspiring them in the way that I was and hopefully many other people are. And that’s what brings me here today.

Danielle Wiley: I am selfishly love that you’re there because we’re friends on Facebook and I think probably Instagram. I can’t keep track of where I’m friends with people, but just to see your photos of your students inside the buildings. I remember being in so well and just the beautiful scenes from campus, selfishly it’s nice to get little sneak peeks.

Michele Tugade: It’s great to be back and I feel like everyone’s still connected and that’s beautiful about it is that same energy of being together still translates to all of the alums in years after. So it’s been really great to be here.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. Well, I’m very excited to dive in. So I’m going to read for my notes because there’s a lot of big words and I want to get your research and your work correct. So your work focuses on the function of positive emotions in the face of stress and adversity and emotion related processes associated with health and wellbeing. One of the things that I’m really curious about, just especially after the last few years and just also being the mom to two Gen Zers, one of whom everything’s always very dramatic. How do we influence and nurture positive emotions when it feels like everything is a dumpster fire? We were watching the news the other night and at a certain point I said to my husbands, I was like, “You have to just turn this off this. It’s one terrible thing after another and I need a break.” But it feels sometimes we’re just bombarded by all of this. So how do you get to that better place?

Michele Tugade: And totally understandable. Life is so overwhelming right now, and we are inundated with the news that every single day there’s something that we have to hear and it’s all around us, it’s weighing on us. And that’s something that in the field we call allostatic load. It’s just basically what you carry around metaphorically. I talk about it as a backpack that we’re carrying around, that there’s the news media, issues related to the chaos around us, whether it’s inflation, political unrest, things based on your identity, racial differences, gender differences, things that may be associated with stigma or other forms of discrimination, a chaotic household. So being bombarded by this adds weight to the Sloan. And it seems really hard, and as I’ve, some people have asked, does it seem like out of place to feel positive emotions in the midst of stress?

Michele Tugade: But the benefits are, from the work that I’ve done, it shows that it’s something that actually is really beneficial for us, that it’s fleeting. They’re short-lived. They’re not anything that we focus our attention on because we focus on negative things because we need to, it’s important for us to. But if we just train ourselves to take a moment and pause and focus on something that’s positive, like a beautiful sunset, or the sense of something like the flowers that are blooming.

Michele Tugade: These micro moments of joy that I call them in my work, these little things are very transformative, even as subtle as they are, even if they don’t take a lot of effort. And the reason for that, the function of positive emotions, when you feel something like joy or interest or gratitude, it actually broadens your scope of attention. So it opens things up for you. And in the midst of chaos or concern or overwhelm, maybe it takes you out to look at the bigger picture. It also builds your personal resources like your social connections. So if you’re experiencing contentment or sharing a sunset with another person, that gives you a social connection so you have someone to lean on in times of stress.

Michele Tugade: So being able to just tap into these little moments seem to be able to take you to that place where you can calm the sympathetic nervous system. When we’re feeling negative emotions like anger or fear or blood pressure rises, our skin conductance increases, our heart feet really fast, and that zones us in on something. But what positive emotions do is they calm you down. It increases what’s called a parasympathetic nervous system where you need that time to replenish. You need that time to rest and breathe and have just this moment.

Michele Tugade: So these little moments that we’ve been able to do in some of our work with an app called Happify Health where we train people to just do little activities like savor a pleasant meal, do a random act of kindness, appreciate a gift that someone gave you, so we’ll just tap them several times throughout the day. Research shows that if they do that just two to three times a week, which is what’s recommended, levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, decrease by 25% and levels of resilience increase by 21%. And is-

Danielle Wiley: Is it just having the great dinner and seeing the sunset or is it having the dinner and acknowledging it and noticing it and marking it? Not necessarily writing it down, but taking a moment to mark that moment in time?

Michele Tugade: I think that’s a great question. It’s the moment that you sit with it, and it could be in a flash, but just seeing, well, look at what this meal brought to me today. I have something to eat or that smells wonderful. There’s so many things in our environment that’s positive that we don’t even notice because we’re just going around every day reading as quickly as we can. But if we give ourselves just a moment, I do this exercise when I do mindfulness types of workshops where I say, notice five things in your… It’s called the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise. Tell me five things that you see in your environment. Tell me four things that you hear. Tell me three things that you smell. Tell me two things that… What was the other senses? One thing that you taste. So you go through all of the different senses and that gives you a moment to just have appreciation for what you have at that moment.

Michele Tugade: So exactly. Thinking about just sitting, pausing, having a moment of reflection. These have been shown to help down-regulate the sympathetic arousal that we feel so that when you come and replenish, your body’s actually restoring itself. It’s calming the wear and tear on our bodies so that we can be healthier in our everyday lives.

Danielle Wiley: And then you actually just had an article come out in Psychology Today about the joy and wonder of connecting with nature, which seems to be a big part of… Everyone who I work with will laugh because I’m obsessed this week with the turkeys in my yard. We’re being over overrun by turkeys and there’s a Tom Turkey and the hens, and I’m spending a lot of time communing with the turkeys and observing their behavior and reading the article this morning when you sent it over, I was like, it made a lot of sense to me. I mean, I don’t know if that’s what you meant about connecting with a non-human animal because I’m not really petting the turkeys. I think they’d bite my head off. But there’s just something about noticing what’s going on or seeing the little chipmunks coming out of hibernation and doing their thing.

Michele Tugade: It’s an appreciation that we are in an environment with other living beings, even plant life. There’s a universe of existence around us and it gives us greater appreciation for what we have. And it gives us a broader perspective about what we’re doing in this world. And it also allows us to protect the environment a bit more. And just by doing that, it sharpens our cognitive capacity, allows people to have more restful sleep, it brings greater social connection. So there are a lot of little benefits and research shows that even if you can’t be out in nature, although it’s recommended having at least 15 minutes or 10 to 15 minutes, just be outside. If you can’t, having a picture of nature or having a window in your environment is really healthy for people who are in the hospital, for example, who can’t be outside. And nature allows that moment of reflection and they call it a liminal space where you’re just in the next step. So there’s a possibility. It inspires feelings of hope so that you’re not just muddled with the everyday busyness and stress that you might be experiencing.

Danielle Wiley: I love it. That Turkey that I’ve been looking at, I don’t know if he knows how helpful-

Michele Tugade: Where do you have the turkeys? Are they just out and about in your-

Danielle Wiley: They’re in my yard. Don’t get me started. Turkey mating season, which I now know way too much about because I became fascinated with them. And we have this one, the Toms duke it out, and then one of them takes over the area. So we have this one who I named Kramer, and then there’s a bunch of hens because they can mate with up to 10 of them. And the Tom makes the crazy Turkey gobble sound that you might be familiar with. But he wakes us up every morning now with his crazy gobbling. He’s been pounding on our patio door.

Michele Tugade: He’s now part of your little family environment.

Danielle Wiley: But it’s like, I don’t know, it’s just a special thing. One of the reasons we moved back to Ann Arbor was because I missed the seasons. And it’s just nice to see nature changing. And it’s not just the leave suddenly appearing on the trees, it’s Turkey mating season and everything that comes with that and different birds showing up.

Michele Tugade: That’s the beauty of it. I think you get to hear all of the different cycles of life. And it’s constantly, even in the winter, even though it feels like nothing’s happening, there’s a lot happening underneath. So it’s preparing for the next emergence and blossoming.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. I know you have the happiness at Happify, is that what it’s called? Which will link on the show notes, the blog post. But some of the apps that I use, just like for nature stuff, they’re plant apps and you can take pictures of different trees and leaves and it helps you identify what the plant is. And then for the birds, we use Merlin, which is from Cornell University, and you can take a picture of a bird or you can turn your microphone on and it identifies the birds based on their sound. And it’s just like another way to connect a little bit deeper with everything that’s going on.

Michele Tugade: Exactly. I love that. Is it called picture this where you can take a picture and find out the plants and definitely I do Merlin. Sometimes I’m surprised at how many different species of birds are in my yard. Another app that I was told by someone who came to one of my talks is called Girl Trek, where you’re out in nature with someone. So there’s a social connection aspect of it. So you’re experiencing it together and you are talking to each other and noticing things while you are doing a hike together.

Danielle Wiley: I like that one.

Michele Tugade: Yeah, I want to try that.

Danielle Wiley: So getting away from my turkeys, which I could talk about them all day, but just since we are now, it seems finally coming out of this pandemic. I’m just wondering how, because everything changed, just the way we work, the way we live, how we were connected to our homes, how we connected to each other, just feelings of mortality. So much happened with that. And it was certainly an awful period of time in a lot of ways. But I’m wondering if there might have been a positive impact from it just in terms of people being more willing to learn about resilience and study happiness and dig into themselves. Or even with the nature stuff, people planting their own vegetables in their garden or suddenly understanding how to make sourdough starter. It seems like not everything was bad that came out of it.

Michele Tugade: I agree. And that’s one of the silver linings I think that happens. One of the upside of the lockdown when everyone had to just be at home and really crave that social connection where we responded to hug one another and just be around each other and we couldn’t. I think it elevated that feeling and desire to be kind to one another, to have compassion for each other. People started to volunteer more to bring food to the elderly who weren’t able to go grocery shopping. People did dive into a number of different hobbies that they discovered or created new hobbies for themselves.

Michele Tugade: During pandemic, we did see a rise in stress quadrupled, people really needed to connect. And I think people gravitated to learning about resilience a bit more, and they were open to vulnerability. I remember giving webinars with corporate executives who for the very first time we were in their homes with their families and it was an opening up and allowing to just be open with one another. So it releases appreciation for other people’s struggles and people were more altruistic because of it. And I think one of the biggest things was that compassion was on the rise and compassion is this desire to minimize the suffering of other individuals to recognize their pain and concerns, but doing something for people, not just yourself. What you might expect during a high threat situation is competition where people… We saw that earlier on with-

Danielle Wiley: All the toilet paper.

Michele Tugade: … of resources, toilet paper, et cetera. But soon there was a desire to have greater compassion and connect with other individuals in more meaningful ways. And I think that’s something that has carried on because people recognize that you can’t just do… I mean even on a global level, everyone is starting to connect more with each other. So not just very centric on your own immediate family, but broadening the scope of generosity to other people as well.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. And I think it’s interesting to me how people, their bodies and brains knew what they needed even without being told. I think for Vassar, at least the Facebook groups for people who graduated in the nineties, those suddenly exploded. And then I got reconnected with people I went to sleepaway camp with when I was just a little kid and we got together to sing camp songs online. There was no manual that said, “You’re stuck at home, you’re feeling lonely, you’re feeling scared, you need to reconnect with people from your past past.” But it was like our bodies and brains knew to do that, which was wild.

Michele Tugade: I think so, exactly. It was. It was almost instinctual to when we were forced to not connect and I think what was happening is it releases this hormone called oxytocin, which is this craving to connect. And really it signals to our bodies that we are social animals, that we have to be with each other. We can’t be completely isolated forever. So we got creative and I think that was one of the great things is that everyone thought of different ways to connect virtual happy hours and these Facebook pages and they’re still continuing. That is something that people are reflecting back and looking forward.

Michele Tugade: I think another benefit is the intergenerational connections that we’re seeing is that my students were teaching me how to do Zoom or they’re teaching older adults how to manage the internet and all the technology, whereas older individuals are saying, “We’ve lived through similar forms of adversity and here are the tools that we use.” So there’s a lot of benefits that happen because of it.

Danielle Wiley: So getting to the darker side of it, there definitely was that loneliness. And I keep hearing this, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I just saw it again yesterday and I’d heard about it on a podcast that loneliness is more dangerous than smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day I think. That’s what the stat is, which I’m like, I hope it doesn’t encourage people to be like, “Well, I might as well then smoke a half pack of cigarettes.”

Michele Tugade: That’s not the message, but it’s true. So after the pandemic, there was a rise in loneliness and the Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy just announced recent, maybe last week that we’re in a loneliness pandemic, an isolation pandemic. And I think one of the reasons, and one of the negative consequences of the pandemic was people were so online that social connection is not what social connection was or really is in its full-fledged form. So definitely, the data suggests that loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and equivalent to the cardiovascular negative effects of obesity. Wow. So if you think about that, we have to do something about the loneliness, epidemic and isolation. So people now feel that just being online and connecting is one of the consequences. Sometimes they feel like they’re connected, but it’s not what is known as a meaningful connection. A high quality connection where you’re actually engaging in someone, getting to know them on a personal basis, developing trust, and a number of different shared experiences.

Michele Tugade: So that is one of the things that researchers are starting to look at more is how to manage this loneliness and isolation epidemic. So they’re doing a number of different things to try to understand it a little bit more. How do you develop a more meaningful social connection with other people? There’s been a new report that was just released yesterday by the American Psychological Association for Adolescents in how to manage their social media use because adolescents are at the highest rate of negative mental health consequences like anxiety, loneliness, and depression. So they’re recommending a number of different things to monitor social media use, report things that may be harmful that they see so that it’s removed from the internet. But also importantly, allowing them to have privacy because part of that feeling of disconnect is just feeling that someone’s always watching over you.

Michele Tugade: And then the last thing is having meaningful social support. So you’re not just connected to others, but there’s meaning in the connections you do have with each other. So trying to find ways to make those more high quality, meaningful connections.

Danielle Wiley: I mean I think it’s so hard to be young today but I also think as someone who’s older and has moved quite a bit, it’s also hard to make friends and make meaningful connections when you’re old. It’s not like when you show up at college and everyone’s new and you can just… I remember when I met Yael, who she just walked up to me and introduced herself. That would be weird to do at the age of 49, 50, but that was normal because everyone was meeting each other. But when you’re older, I think Jane Fonda was talking about it in an interview that she has decided to just ask people really put herself out there when she wants to connect with someone or add them to her friend group and connect because life’s too short. And if you enjoy being around someone, you have to put yourself out there because as an adult, you don’t have those natural openings and opportunities to expand your friendship.

Michele Tugade: Exactly. I think so. And I think that’s right, being able to think of creative ways to do it. There’s work on friendships. How do you form friendships when you don’t do it the way, as you mentioned, when we’re younger, you’re forced to live together and you’re in a residential college and everyone’s just interacting with each other. But we now are so removed from each other when we’re online that being able to just find hobbies that are into, when you have things to do together. They also talk about routines that maybe an exercise group or you’re going somewhere where you have a shared experience and that will form those friendships, but they’re in a very structured way, but then they emerge to be more authentic after spending some time together.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah, it’s hard. I just emailed someone last week who I had met actually through the podcast, and I was like, “Do you want to hang out?” And I was so nervous to do it.

Michele Tugade: I love that.

Danielle Wiley: She said, “Yes, we’re going to hang out.”

Michele Tugade: Exactly. I was just remembering how you and I did super early walks with your dog in the pitch dark. We just met early in the morning and we were just finding a way to connect when we just got back together in Ann Arbor.

Danielle Wiley: That’s actually how I met Mandy, who’s now our CRO. So she runs all the sales and revenue for Sway Group. We met when I was living in Marin County because I posted on nextdoor that I needed people to go running with early in the morning at like 5:30, and she was one of my running buddies, and now I see her every day.

Michele Tugade: That’s how it happens. I know. I love it.

Danielle Wiley: I think I’ve talked about this before on the podcast, but one I do goals for every year and one of my… I do a business goal and a leadership goal and a couple of personal ones. And my leadership one is to lead with love and just try to enter into meetings, enter into conversations from a good place. And before I meet with people, yeah, think about what I want to get out of it and assume the best from people and just really give people grace and not always go to that negative place because that’s very much on my mind this year because it’s something I’m trying to improve in myself. I was really interested in what you had to share about the science of kindness and how kindness and resilience are interconnected and just was very curious to hear more about that.

Michele Tugade: Yeah. First of all, I love your goal for the year and to lead with love I think is such a beautiful thing. And I think we need more people like you in the world for sure to do that because it brings us back to our core of what connects us to each other and what’s purposeful about what we do. And it gives us meaning for things that we contribute to the world. And simple acts of kindness does fuel our ability to be resilient and cope with negative stressors in our lives. So just giving random acts of kindness that people leave little notes for one another, having these moments of appreciation, what are you grateful for with another person that you’re about to mean.

Michele Tugade: When I do my classes and I’m teaching them how to give feedback a after presentations, the first thing is tell me one thing you appreciated about the presentation and then let’s think about how to improve it. But there’s always something good. There’s always an element. Even if you have to try hard, try to find that. There’s some research to show that there’s a mindfulness technique called loving kindness meditation where you think of something kind for yourself, offer something kind for yourself. Thinking of something kind for about another person. You wish happiness on that other person. And the hardest part is wishing peace and kindness to an enemy or someone who may be troubling you for whatever reason. But just by doing that, yeah, it actually allows us to have more resiliency in our lives.

Michele Tugade: Other forms of kindness that we’ve seen is just altruistic acts. So being charitable in your donations with other people. They’ve done research where you give participants an amount of money, like $20, and you say, you can either give it to someone else or keep it for yourself and no one will know what you’re doing with it. And they found that when people donate it or give it by a gift for someone else or donate it to a charitable organization that has a longer ripple effect. So it’s a win-win, win situation when you’re doing what you’re doing at your meetings. You feel great. The person receiving the kindness feels great and that person will feel great and transfer it to another person. So it really is something that accumulates over time in this a ripple effect. And in that way, I think just these little acts of kindness, you can find something to say to someone, think about it for someone, and then that should help build a better team, I think overall. So I love that you’re doing that.

Danielle Wiley: I’m not going to lie. I mean it’s sometimes very difficult, but it’s nice to… I try to look at my goals a lot. So even when I’m not doing the best job at it, I see it there and I try again. And it’s good. I like when my goals are a challenge.

Michele Tugade: It’s a good reminder. Exactly. It’s not always aiming, and it also sometimes it’s need to step back and it’s not always be kind all the time. Sometimes you need to focus on what needs to be addressed at that moment. But allowing that is, I think is a great way to start to just set the mindset. It’s a resilient mindset basically that you’re trying to develop for yourself and your team.

Danielle Wiley: I’m glad I’m on the right track.

Michele Tugade: I love it.

Danielle Wiley: So this season is season three, and we’re ending each episode with the same question, which is we’re asking all of our guests to share a woman who has inspired them in their life or work.

Michele Tugade: Mine, the woman who continues to inspire me as my mom, Teresita Tugade, Tessie to her friends, auntie Tessie to my cousins and mama to me, she is a quintessential positive individual. I think I get a lot of my positivity from her. When we grew up she and my late father posted poster board signs all over the house with positive affirmations, like, be happy. Shoot for your dreams. It was things we saw. And she arrived in the United States at the age of 25, herself alone. Her family was still in the Philippines. So that exemplifies courage and just risk taking that I think is so fantastic.

Michele Tugade: She was the first one and the rest of the family joined in and she’s just very positive to this day. Every morning she’ll text me and my twin sister, Ruby, who you also know, a positive affirmation every single day. And I think she’s a very caring person. During the pandemic, she’s an accountant. She went into help individuals because she knew that finances was of concern for a lot of people and was a stress inducer. So she was there and made sure that they were able to manage that as well. So it really showed that she takes an extra step. So I try to live that and live with passion and joy because of her every single day.

Danielle Wiley: I love it. And I was going to say, before you mentioned Ruby, I was going to be like, I know two of her kids. And it seems like she did a very, very good job because you’re both-

Michele Tugade: Thank you.

Danielle Wiley: … happy and bring so much joy to others and yeah.

Michele Tugade: It helps to have great friends like you, I have to say

Danielle Wiley: It’s a love fest.

Michele Tugade: Exactly.

Danielle Wiley: Well, this was great. I am so glad we were able to catch up, and I can’t wait to make it back to Poughkeepsie. We missed too many reunions because of life and pandemics and all of that. So I know just another two years and I can see you.

Michele Tugade: Me too. And I need to make my way back to Ann Arbor, also.

Danielle Wiley: Yes. Anytime. We have a guest room with turkeys and-

Michele Tugade: I can’t wait.

Danielle Wiley: … you’re welcome anytime.

Michele Tugade: Awesome.

Danielle Wiley: Well, thank you so much. This was great.

Michele Tugade: Thanks, Danielle. Thank you so much.

Danielle Wiley: Thank you for listening. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Please check back next Monday for a new episode featuring marketing conversations through the lens of influence. I am your host, Danielle Wiley, and this is The Art of Sway.