Diversifying your happiness

Sonnie Bailey

24 October 2017

Dan Buettner, in interview with James Hamblin for The Atlantic:

[think] about happiness in the same way you think of your retirement portfolio. You want it balanced—the short term and long term, stocks and bonds. The hell-bent pursuit of purpose kind of loses the point a little bit, because there is value in the sum of positive emotions we experience every day. So if all you’re doing is pursuing your purpose, or if all you’re doing is very goal-oriented, you forgo joy today for a perceived better future. We now know that humans reliably mis-predict what will make them happy in the future. You could work your butt off, pursue your purpose, become financially independent, and get there and realize “Oh, my life sucks.”

It’s important to plan for the future, and embrace the uncertainties that stand in front of us. We should all aim to define what it means to have a meaningful life, and pursue this.

But there’s value in the ocasional bout of hedonism, too. As the saying goes: “Eat, drink, and be merry – for tomorrow we die!”

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