Why the Things We Seek to Make Us Happy Will Turn Us Sad
What is happiness? It is often confused with fame, even the low-level fame that social media affords us, gathering "followers" and massive amounts of "friends".
What's the Latest?
From self-help books to the latest pop song, happiness is today's good and righteous goal. But what is happiness? It is often confused with fame, even the low-level fame that social media affords us, gathering "followers" and massive amounts of "friends". At a glance, even the most humble of lives can read like glossy magazine adds. "What do you post to Facebook? Pictures of yourself yelling at your kids, or having a hard time at work? No, you post smiling photos of a hiking trip with friends. You build a fake life — or at least an incomplete one — and share it."
What's the Big Idea?
Arthur C. Brooks writes: "Unless you are extraordinarily self-aware, how could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?" At fault is our misunderstanding of evolution. While fame and fortune make it more likely our genes will be passed on, because it does make us more attractive, nature does not care if we are personally fulfilled in the process. What is natural and what is pleasurable are not necessary good. In fact, they rarely are the same.
Read more at the New York Times
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The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
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