We were raised by television to believe that we’d be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars — but we won’t.

“People start out in life pretty certain that they’re going to end up like David Beckham or win the Nobel Prize. Then, after a few years, they discover it’s quite tough out there – not just in their careers, but in life. Unsurprisingly, their happiness drops. The good news is that the downer doesn’t last. If you trace the trajectory of most peoples’ happiness over time it resembles a J-curve. People typically record high satisfaction levels in their early twenties. These then fall steadily towards middle age, before troughing at around 42. Most of us then grow steadily happier as we get older, with those in their sixties expressing the highest satisfaction levels of all.”

why can’t we (the “we” who are in our mid-twenties) realize right now there is no chance we’ll be rich or famous, that it probably doesn’t matter, and that wishing we were richer or famouser is probably about the least effective means of becoming richer or famouser? what would that do to our “J-Curve” if we could largely avoid the 22 to 42 downward trend in perceived happiness and just focus on solving problems creatively and spending time with friends? just a thought…

so i played in a co-ed kickball tournament with the silskids this morning. we were the “dewey decimators.” we were thoroughly decimated. but we had a lot of sweaty fun. allison even shed blood for the team. the weather was stunning, high 80s by the time we finished. we drank smoothies in the pit afterwards. eventually i corraled the remaining “ballers” (jane, patrick, allison, and kathleen) into my car and went out to the barbecue joint on weaver dairy road, as suggested by todd. which i highly recommend. not so much because their pulled pork was any better than any other pulled pork i’ve ever had, but because they served their bbq with “pickles” (cucumbers in vinegar) and because we sat outside eating and drinking and talking in the shade and in the glorious heat without any urgency or sense of impending anything.

7 Comments

Brian

So I’m about halfway from the pits (42) and highs (60s), so why don’t I feel I’m on an upswing, or is the curve flat between and exponential just before the 60s. You know what I think… I think this quote is a load of crap.

ha, perhaps you were able to avoid the 22 to 42 slump and so the 42 to 62 uptick doesn’t seem as steep.

then again the quote does say “most people’s”

if i had a dime for every time i _didn’t_ feel like most people…

I feel pretty pleased with my life thus far, and I’m not even 26 yet…..

jane

maybe you still think that you’re going to end up like David Beckham or win the Nobel Prize…

I want to be in middle management!
I want to be a yes man!

hehe. that she has two children already and still maintains her indie rock sensibilities is a triumph in and of itself.

Name

Email (optional)

Blog (optional)