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The problem with focusing on constant self-optimization is that it is a process without end. We can never say we've reached the full version of ourselves. We may feel that we are not (and can never be) good enough. We're never allowed to be happy and satisfied.
Also, it's not that you shouldn't become your best self, but the concern is that the self-help craze, with the drive to optimize yourself all the time, has become pathological.
In a way, depression is our way of reacting, withdrawing, and possibly metaphorically recharging our batteries.
There's so much pressure in modern society to perform and be productive, to be efficient, that we don't get time to recharge. This leads to sadness and loss of energy.
We should stop trying to adjust people to circumstances that are not worth being adjusted to. If people suffer from stress in an organization, try to look at how work is organized and change it, instead of referring them to something like stress coaching, or psychotherapies or mindfulness exercises that are really just treating symptoms.
These sensitive, intelligent, resourceful people should be out changing the world, not just sitting in therapy rooms trying to improve themselves.
In the self-help world, it is very common to say that you need to work on yourself before you can work on the world. It's not a stupid thing to say.
But, people are becoming too self-absorbed, looking only on themselves and forgetting to take an interest in the people around them. We actually need people who are brave enough also to take an interest in the broader structure.
We're obsessed with being ourselves, being authentic, being unique. This is sad because what if you find that you are just the average, boring, mean person.
It's better to emulate someone you look up to. If in doubt, ask what your role model would do.
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Happiness, like other emotions, is not something you acquire. It is something you are.
This implies that happiness is not a goal that you can reach. It is a side effect of a particular se...
While pleasure is correlated with happiness, pursuing pleasure does not cause happiness.
People who focus their energy on materialistic and superficial pleasures end up more anxious and less happy in the long run. Pleasure is necessary, but it's insufficient.
Failing to meet your own expectations is not the opposite of happiness. Your ability to fail and still appreciate the experience is key to happiness.
The joy is not in getting what you want, but the process of working towards it, then raising the bar, and doing it again. If you fail, learn from it.
Well-being can be broken into five elements:
If you improve ...
Pessimism comes naturally to people because thinking about the bad stuff that could happen helps us to prepare for survival.
The problem is that pessimists think bad events are permanent and unchangeable. "I think my interview is going to be a disaster." We need to learn to recognize what we're saying to ourselves and then argue against it. "I've done many interviews in my life, and they generally turn out well."
Meditation - mindfulness, focusing on the moment - is an excellent anti-anxiety, anti-anger tool..But accepting suffering and finding contentment in that means you can't move into doing something good in the future.
One important idea is hope. Positive human future doesn't come about by accident - it needs hopeful people who plan for it and make it happen.
Not everyone knows how to be happy or how to deal with the bumps and annoyances of life. When people get stuck in temporary setbacks, they can easily forget that happiness is never out of reach.
When life throws a curveball, it's enough to make anyone complain. However, when complaining goes unchecked, it can become a habit that makes it easier to be negative than positive.
Tips for coping:
Being overly critical of ourselves can increase anxiety about a situation. Mulling over what happened is like self-criticism on repeat.
Tips for silencing your inner critic: