ARE YOU LUCKY: Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. The harder you look, the less you see. The more anxious you are, the less likely you notice the unexpected. The more tense you are, the less likely you will be able to take advantage of unexpected ‘luck’ – therefore the more unlucky you are.
Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Ignorance Isn’t Bliss (Lucinda Schreiber, NPR)
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS: Many of us have information aversion or the ostrich effect. In other words, we would rather not know if we have a serious or terminal illness if we have been scared by the consequences. The worse the consequences, the more likely people are to avoid testing. Scaring people more about the implications may scare them away from getting tested.
Remember you will die. Maybe even today. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget to be thankful for your health. For the time you get to spend with the person you love. It’s not yours, it can be stolen away at any moment. So while you have it on loan, cherish it.
It’s really, really hard to make something great. The inertia of mediocrity makes it hard to do great work. To do great things, you have to go unrecognized, be under-appreciated and push to unreasonable lengths.
Don’t get disheartened. If you get disheartened, it’s over. Don’t ever underestimate the value of enthusiasm. Sometimes it’ll be all you have.
Put yourself in places that make you nervous. Nerves are really the only way to know that you’re being stretched. If there hasn’t been a moment of nerves in your life for a month, it might be worthwhile asking if you’re pushing hard enough.
Self-control is a finite resource. You can only ask so much of yourself each day. You’ll snap or warp or splinter if you ask too much. You have a limited capacity to direct yourself a certain way.
The greatest reflection of your priorities is your time. Whatever you say about what matters to you, the true test is where you place your time. So if you say your priorities are your partner or your kids or your family or your health, that statement will only be true if your calendar reflects it.
Wadi Rum, Jordan (Credits: Christine Lai)
SMART DUE TO NATURE OR NURTURE? Practice time explains about 20-25% of the difference in performance in music, sports and games like chess. In academics, the number is much lower — 4%.
LOVE DESTINY OR JOURNEY? Do you see love as a union of two people who are destined to be together? Or is it more of a journey they undertake, facing obstacles and working together to overcome them? According to new research, how you answer these questions may affect how you handle relationship troubles.
Those who believe in ‘destiny’ put less effort into working through relationship conflict. If they are soul mates, then nothing will go wrong in the relationship, and it will be easy. A conflict makes a destiny-believer question whether the current partner is actually their soul mate, and then they give up on working it out.
There are two mind-sets — a fixed mind-set, which occurs when someone believes that personal qualities like intelligence are immutable, and a growth mind-set, which occurs when someone believes that skills and characteristics can be cultivated through effort.
Love lock (NYTIMES)
LIFE PURPOSE & LONGEVITY: People with a sense of purpose had a 15% lower risk of death, compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn’t seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s.
It could be as simple as making sure one’s family is happy. It could be bigger, like contributing to social change. It could be more self-focused, like doing well on the job. Or it could be about creativity: produce something that is appreciated in written or artistic form, whether it’s music, dance or visual arts.
A sense of purpose may protect people against stress with all of its harmful effects, including greater risk of heart disease. And that may explain why people with a sense of purpose live longer.
STRESSED OUT: Women are more stressed out than men in every category – too many responsibilities, finances, work, health, neighbors – except for friends.
18-29 year olds are most stressed out by “too many responsibilities.” 30-39 year-olds most stressed about finances. 65+ year-olds are least stressed out by their looks.
70% of people respond to extreme stress by sleeping less than usual.
83% of 18-29 year olds say stress has a positive effect in their lives – the highest in all age groups.
Sources of Stress by Age Group (NPR)
PARENTING AROUND THE WORLD: Dutch parents believe strongly in not pushing their children too hard. “People would talk about a cousin who got a PhD and was very unhappy because there were no jobs at universities, and said that you shouldn’t teach your child to read before they got to school, because then your child would be bored at school and not have any friends.”
PASSION A COPING MECHANISM? Millennials want jobs that are “meaningful” rather than lucrative. Some would call that proof of our compassion and engagement; I would call it a coping mechanism.
Many of us are well aware that job security and pensions are a thing of the past. We know that aside from a few Silicon Valley-bound college grads (or willful dropouts), most of us won’t do better than our parents. So we seek validation and happiness in other ways.
Still, many millennials, especially low-income ones, still want the proverbial White Picket Fence: a good job, a house, a family. No wonder seven out of 10 of us want to be entrepreneurs —it seems like the only way to make it now that the traditional safety nets are eroding.
Boomerang Kid (NYTIMES)
BOOMERANG KIDS: One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60% of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only 10% young adults moved back home and few received financial support.
They appear to be part of a new and permanent life stage. More than that, they represent a much larger anxiety-provoking but also potentially thrilling economic evolution that is affecting all of us.
Is living with your parents a sign, as it once was, of failure? Or is it a practical, long-term financial move?
Childhood is a fairly recent economic innovation. For most of recorded history, a vast majority of people began working by age 4, typically on a farm, and were full time by 10. By the end of the Civil War, much of American culture had accepted the notion that children under 13 should be protected from economic life, and child-labor laws started emerging around the turn of the century.
Eventually, teenagers were no longer considered younger, less-competent adults but rather older children who should be nurtured and encouraged to explore.