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Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think

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https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/work-peak-professional-decline/590650/

theatlantic.com

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think
Here’s how to make the most of it.

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Well-being of adults

Well-being of adults
  • Studies show that most adults' happiness declines through their 30s and 40s, then hit a low in their early 50s.
  • After that, studies show that, in wealthier countries, most peop...

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The memory of past success

Current achievements provide happiness, but the memory of past accomplishments do not appear to produce long-lasting happiness.


The waning of ability in people of...

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"Unhappy is he who depends on success to be happy. For such a person, the end of a successful career is the end of the line. His destiny is to die of bit...

Alex Dias Ribeiro

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The principle of Psychoprofessional Gravitation

It is the idea that if you reach professional heights and are deeply invested in being high up, you can suffer greatly when you inevitably decline.

In many professions, we ...

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How to deal with a professional decline

Some people have managed their declines well.

When the musical career of Johann Sebastian Bach declined, instead of becoming depressed or discouraged, ...

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Fluid and crystallized intelligence

  • Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason, analyze, and solve unique problems. It is highest in early adulthood and diminishes in one's 30s and 40s.
  • ...

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The reverse bucket list

Many wealthy people keep on working to increase their wealth far beyond what they could possibly spend. They often do it because they get a sense of self-worth from it. However, focusing on acquisi...

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The two kinds of virtues

There are two kinds of virtues:

  • Résumé virtues. These are professional and geared toward worldly success.
  • Eulogy virtues. These are ethical and ...

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A guide for the remainder of your life

Acceptance of the natural cadence of our abilities allows the shifting of attention to higher spiritual and life priorities.

  • Jump: Let go when you have reached your...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Social Physics

Social Physics

Psychohistory is a fictional way to predict the future of humanity, using mathematical techniques.

Applying maths on human behaviour was initiated by Adolphe Quételet in the 19th centur...

Statistics

This is an invaluable tool for the fields of biology, medicine, economics, arts and humanities and the administrative services of the government.

Statistics provides useful tools, but those calculations and assumptions are based on certain constants that can lead to serious mistakes if taken too literally or applied to a large size. These calculations provide usable figures in a ‘quick and dirty’ way.

Adolphe Quételet's Estimations

Quételet, the mathematician turned astronomer who was performing social physics miracles as the central figure of Belgium science, got better in his game by learning probability theory and making use of his polymath brain. His work included estimations and calculations using the available data and his mathematical and statistical skills. Instead of counting everyone to know the population, Quételet used some reasonable estimates and then multiplied the number of births per year with the ratio of the total population to the annual births.

The new methodology was published in Quételet’s books in the 19th century, like Social Physics (1835) and its newer editions, and caught the imagination of the public. Concepts like the Average Man and the Bell Curve (a normal probability of distribution) simplified complex statistics and made it accessible to the world while being easily quotable and comparable.

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Zeno of Citium

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”

Zeno of Citium

Good listening

Good listening doesn't follow a technique as much as being willing to enter into another person's life.

Listening through the screen of your own desires means that you are listening to your own voice and desires. It is the same as not listening at all. Listening demands wiping the slate of your mind clean.

Not knowing what to say

Not knowing what to say when someone confides in you is a daunting feeling. However, we feel that way because we mistakenly think the person reaching out is asking for an explanation.

It is more important just to be there, so the other person doesn't feel alone.

one more idea

Intelligence is not genius

Intelligence is not genius

Genius is not about having an extraordinarily high IQ, or even about being smart. It is not about finishing Mensa exercises in record time or mastering fourteen languages at the age of seven.

...

Geniuses and problem solving

Leonardo da Vinci believed you begin by learning how to restructure the problem by looking at it from many different angles.

In order to creatively solve a problem, the thinker should not use the usual approach that is based on past experience. Geniuses use several different perspectives to solve an existing problem and thereby also identify new ones.

Making your thoughts visible

_Galileo Galilei revolutionized science by making his idea visible with diagrams, maps, and drawings. Einstein believed that words and numbers as they are spoken did not play a significant role in his thinking process.

Geniuses seem to develop a skill to display information in visual and spatial forms, rather than only mathematical or verbal lines.

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Avoid Randomness

... when you are ready to wind down your day. This includes not getting stuck in front of screens, social media or even doing a marathon of our favorite show.

The brain is firing up dopam...

Eliminate Negativity

Negative emotions can lower your immunity. They affect every part of your body. Carrying them up to sleep will affect your health causing you to lack the necessary rest your body needs.

Doing something that lights you up can help shift the mood. Force your mind to think of good thoughts. 

Do One Thing You Love

Your brain relaxes when you do something that is delightful. It puts you in a safe zone where you can enjoy yourself for the time being.

Doing it just before going to bed is the best time because it helps to seal the positive energy that will condition your mind the next day.

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Loneliness before quarantine

We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells. 

Before modern times...

Loneliness is a form of grief

It is an umbrella term we use to cover for all sorts of things most people would rather not name and have no idea how to fix.
Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.

The evolutionary theory of loneliness

Primates need to belong to an intimate social group in order to survive; this is especially true for humans.
Separation from your group (either finding yourself alone or finding yourself among a group of people who do not know and understand you) triggers a fight-or-flight response.

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Exercises For Posture Correction

Exercises For Posture Correction
  • Plank: Hold the initial push-up position, legs straight. Don’t allow your lower back to sink, and make sure you are looking down at the floor. 
  • Wall Angels: Lean bac...

Posture Belt

Wearing a posture belt during the first few hours of morning is good practice. 

  • Place the strap over your upper back and hold the ends in each hand.
  • Drape each end of the strap over its respective shoulder.
  • Cross the strap in the back holding one end in each hand.
  • Pull the straps so that you feel it in your trapezius muscles and secure the ends at the front.

Reverse Plank Bridge

  • Keep your arms straight and pull your shoulders back.
  • Bring your shoulder blades together.
  • Tuck your chin.
  • Push your chest up and extend your spine.
  • Your fingers can be pointed forward or backward.

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Get The Most Out Of Your Time

It starts with knowing what your time is worth. For instance:

  • People who spend their time doing more profitable work make more money. 
  • People who...

Monetary Value of Time

We all have some idea of how much our time is worth. On extreme ends, it is easy to know if a task is worth your time. For instance, if someone offers you $0.07 per hour and another $7,000 per hour, you would have no problem to decide.
However, in the middle of the time-value spectrum, it is less clear if a particular task is worth your time. While everyone has an hourly value, few people know the exact amount.

The Real Worth Of Your Time

Use the Realized Income Methods to calculate the value of your time. It is based on the income you received and will help you make better decisions on how to spend money day-by-day. You need two numbers for your calculations.

  1. How much time you spend to earn money.
  2. How much you earn during that time.

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Your memory depends on context

If we learn facts while we are doing something, we will be able to recall them better, when we are doing that same thing again.

You can use this information to your advanta...

Early memories are not reliable

Scientists believe that it is impossible to recall the first few years of life. Many of the necessary brain structures for memory have not yet matured at the time. It means that it is physiologically impossible for your brain to remember personal events from infancy.

Any recollections are patched together from other knowledge we acquired later on.

Your mental timeline is skewed

Research has shown that we often underestimate the amount of time that has passed from long ago, and overestimate the amount of time that has passed since more recent events.

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Survival of The Fittest

The famous Charles Darwin theory, 'survival of the fittest' has turned into a cultural cliché. The theory proposes that living beings naturally fight and compete with each other to survive.

T...

Collaborative Interdependence

Hundreds of studies on plants and animal behavior in recent years reveal that living things, including humans, are in reality multispecies events of collaboration and interdependence.

This is seen in the way fungus helps nurture and connect trees, or the way algae and coral form a partnership to create colorful coral reefs.

Life is more complex and collaborative than previously thought.

The Climate Crisis

The recent findings which prove that competition is not natural, at least not more than collaboration, pave the way to think about our relationship with the planet, and the millions of species inhabiting it.

Environmentalists are tackling the climate crisis assume that people are by nature bound to harm ecology, and will consume and plunder the natural resources. This leaves them with a narrow set of solutions to control the crisis.

one more idea

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is ess..."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

We were all children

Keeping this in mind is not nostalgia, but rather an embrace of all that has gone into making up a full-grown human being. 

The past is part of who we are. We are made up of imagination and memory and dearly-won virtues.

Disproportionate pursuits

Adults aren't disappointing because they have grown bigger, or got jobs, or taken on responsibilities.

  • Adults are disappointing because we have forgotten how to see the world as it actually is. We see people as statistics, education as functional, food as fuel, clothing as utilitarian, religion as morality.
  • We over-value what we can experience with the senses. We work over our books, counting everything up, claiming ownership, and fail to see that we live in a whole, wild universe.

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