Monday, September 16, 2013

Happiness, Ambition, and the Queasy Unicorn

Please read this HuffPo article if the title makes no sense to you.

This one is short because happiness shouldn't be rocket science, in spite of all our best efforts to make it so.

One idea I find in most things I've read about happiness is that comparing yourself to the Joneses is the worst thing you can do.  So stop it.

As for being ambitious and feeling special, that's tough because it's easy to use the latter as fuel for the former, when really it should be the other way around.  More intellectually than emotionally doable, though it's a really good idea to strive to get there on both fronts.

Work hard, respect your time, give it to the people you love (including yourself).

1 comment:

  1. Pasting in from a great comment thread from my facebook post on the same:

    I think there are a few reasons why Gen Y doesn't love the be-happy-with-your-suburban-lawn-and-gold-watch-after-40-years-doing-the-same-thing-at-Acme Corp thing. One is what the article suggests: a gap between expectation and reality. Another is that the world is different than it was for our parents--economically, politically, socially. Agreed that HuffPo misses the mark a bit on that.

    I also think it misses by hinting at two things: 1) that the 40-year-Acme Corp route = happiness, and 2) that questing for an existence that aligns with non-Acme Corp personal values ≠ happiness. #1 worked for our parents. Maybe it even works for a subsection of Gen Y. #2 is only true, though, if you forget to stop and smell the roses. That's a lot to ask of someone who's used to gunning for whatever their version of the brass ring might be. Ambition is, after all, a restlessness with the status quo.

    Ambition doesn't really change (nor should it), so I guess for me, the takeaway is to ruthlessly cut that restlessness with contentment, which is what all the hard work is supposed to spit out in the first place. Otherwise, you're risking a sort of perma-unthankfulness that's frighteningly easy to slip into.

    True, Ferris had to go back to school on Tuesday. But he had a fucking awesome day off before doing so.