Laura Putnam inspires people to integrate movement into their lives. As a former competitive gymnast, she serves as the CEO of Motion Infusion, a leading provider of wellbeing and human performance services. She also teaches at Stanford University and is a valued member of the Google Vitality Lab and the Health Stat Strategic Advisory Committee. She received The American Heart Association’s “2020 Impact” Award and the National Wellness Institute’s “Circle of Leadership” award. Laura is the award-winning author of Workplace Wellness that Works: 10 Steps to Infuse Well-Being and Vitality Into Any Organization.
Tune into my conversation with Laura Putnam to learn how to get moving on Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
Use Your Strengths Everyday
Think back to the most recent interview you had with a potential employer. Did they ask you to name your top 3 strengths? You probably considered saying the top strengths you saw from your Google search last night in a sheer panic. While the question might seem cliché, listing your unique strengths can bring you closer to understanding and embracing your authentic self.
“We all have inherent gifts that we are born with and develop over time. I’m a big proponent of the Gallup Strengths Finder kind of approach, that if we start with our strengths, that’s when we can become our best selves,” said Laura.
Laura started out as an urban public high school teacher in San Francisco. She spent much of her time encouraging her students to follow their dreams, but eventually realized that she wasn’t following her own advice—she wanted to dance. So, she moved to New York City to pursue her dream. Though she experienced a lot of rejection in her career as a dancer, it ultimately led her to build Motion Infusion.
The idea for Laura’s business stemmed from one of her job experiences answering phone calls for the Senate. She was taken aback by the lack of movement within her workday, especially after having spent much of her life in motion as a student athlete.
“Suddenly I go into the workforce, and I was like, ‘I’m not prepared for this.’ You have to sit for long stretches of time, and I was just exhausted,” Laura said.
Motion Infusion was her way of combining practices of the mind and the body, creating a movement to get people to take a stand during the workday.
Oasis of wellbeing
Laura believes that work shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead, your work should bring you closer to your authentic self. You should not only feel financially and emotionally supported by your work, but should also strive to connect with the community to make a difference.
“People [should] feel like the work that they do is not just a job, it’s not even a career, but it’s their calling,” she said.
When a job becomes an oasis of wellbeing, employees and employers alike embrace their fullest potential and create their best work.
“Workplace wellness done well is one in which people are healthier, they’re happier, they’re closer to their version of ‘me at my best,’ because of where they work as opposed to in spite of it.”
To become your authentic self, Laura advises that you first look within. Ask yourself, “Am I surrounding myself with negativity? Are my values reflected in the people I know and the places I go?” Consider if these factors contribute to your authentic self, or inhibit your growth. After reflecting, she advices you to make some changes—get involved with your community, walk a mile every day, or distance yourself from toxic relationships for instance. Once you commit yourself to integrating movement into your life, you’ll feel more comfortable embracing your authentic self and your passions.
To hear more of Laura’s story and her advice on becoming active during the workday, download my podcast interview with her here on iTunes!