Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happiness as a byproduct

Great title for an article in the Atlantic: "How to Land Your Kid in Therapy"


All about how parents' good intentions can (and often do) have a negative impact on their children. Barry Schwartz has a great line in this article, "Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing, but happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster." Barry Schwartz also gave a great TED talk on the paradox of choice, about how too many options lead to feelings of discontent and creates the fear of missing out. 


Another good  quote from the article, from Jean Twenge, "Narcissists are happy when they’re younger, because they’re the center of the universe... [but] instead of feeling good about themselves, they feel better than everyone else." In other words there are two ways to get high self-esteem (1) by thinking you're better than everyone else or (2) by feeling good about yourself. I'm reminded of my first (of 52) weekly resolutions of 2013 - Don't Compare Yourself to Others. If self-esteem and narcissism often go hand in hand then while you gain from one you lose from the other. So perhaps its just as important to ask "how does this make me feeling about myself?" as "how does this make me feel about others?"