From Wall Street Journal: Charles Wheelan (Author of “10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said”) shares some of his life lessons after studying happiness and well-being. He wishes someone had shared real wisdom with him during his high school graduation ceremony. Here’s a few excerpts:
1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent…Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings.
2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them.
4. Marry someone smarter than you are…You will do better in life if you have a second economic oar in the water.
6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.
9. It’s all borrowed time. You shouldn’t take anything for granted, not even tomorrow. I offer you the “hit by a bus” rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don’t get hit by a bus.
10. Don’t try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn’t, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.
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- New Research on Happiness…Not One Big Thing…Sum of Hundreds of Little Things
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