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Why We're Unhappiest in Our Late 40s

A midlife crisis

A midlife crisis

The disappointment with life is often the difference between our expectations for ourselves and what life actually holds for us.

According to research, people's happiness forms a U shape over their lifetime, hitting its lowest point in midlife.

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Why We're Unhappiest in Our Late 40s

Why We're Unhappiest in Our Late 40s

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_were_unhappiest_in_our_late_40s

greatergood.berkeley.edu

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Key Ideas

A midlife crisis

The disappointment with life is often the difference between our expectations for ourselves and what life actually holds for us.

According to research, people's happiness forms a U shape over their lifetime, hitting its lowest point in midlife.

The trend is worldwide

People’s happiness is the lowest around the ages of 47 to 49. The dip in happiness is the same everywhere: In America, Germany, Thailand, Pakistan, even in countries with a lower life expectancy.

Happiness dip causes

The happiness dip may have to do with getting real - finding that our dreams are not going to happen. That can be a painful reality check.

If we don't use the midlife self-reflection positively, we may become disillusioned and make rash decisions or end relationships that can be damaging to our well-being.

Protecting ourselves

Being around other people and finding a community is a positive thing. The togetherness of family, friends, clubs, and connecting with our neighbors can be encouraging.

When we get older, happiness seems to rise again, probably because we gain more perspective or start prioritizing our relationships more. Understanding this trend and knowing you are not alone can help you through it.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The happiness curve
The happiness curve

There is increasing evidence that happiness through adulthood is U-shaped.

Life satisfaction falls in our 20s and 30s, then hitting a low in our late 40s before increasing until our 80s....

The midlife slump

That midlife slump (not to be confused with a midlife crisis) is often nothing - just a natural transition due to the passing of time.

Those likely to notice it are people that seem to have everything going for them; they're achieving their goals, and nothing much changed, yet they feel less satisfied than they expected and think there must be something wrong with their lives.

When the U-curve occurs

According to a study by economists, the U-curve is generally noticed at age 46. It tends to appear in wealthier countries.

However, some economists and psychologists factor in the possibility that those who become happier in the studies are the same people who are content in their early years.

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All areas of your life are affected

When your job is affecting your mental and emotional health, so that anger and depression overwhelm you or bleed over into other areas of your life, it’s time to consider a change.

A toxic workplace

It can have a negative impact on your happiness and job performance.

Studies found that ostracism, bad leadership, harassment, and bullying have direct negative effects on job productivity. Also, being in a job you hate is worse for your health than being unemployed.

Not aligned with your values

If your job is not aligned with your values, you'll end up questioning the possibility of doing it for the next 15, 20, or 30 years.

The good part about it is the fact that this will point you in the right direction, where changes need to be made.

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"One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ab..."

Tony Robbins
Don't reinvent the wheel

Mimic and get help from someone who’s already learned it to get tips and save time.

In order to achieve mastery faster, our first step should be to consult the top players in the field and model the path they have already carved out for us.

Deconstruct the skill

...into its basic, fundamental components, to find the most important things to practice first. This shows that very few things actually make a difference in any aspect of our lives, including learning.

Use the Pareto Principle: which describes a goal of generating 80 percent of results by putting in 20 percent of the effort.

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Hidden problems
Hidden problems

Companies are struggling to balance employee and public health with the maintenance of basic operations. The obvious answer is to go virtual and work from home.

But it is not that simple. C...

Monitor communication

The quality of online conversations can lack much of the interpersonal richness present in in-person discussions.

Conversations could be monitored with RIFF Analytics, for example, that uses artificial intelligence to analyze online conversation dynamics and provide real-time personalized feedback to each participant: Is anybody dominating the conversation? Is discussion as inclusive as it should be?

Maintain inclusivity

When working remotely, physical distance can quickly develop into psychological distance. Companies need to take extra care to include people in decision-making.

  • One method is secret voting on new ideas to prevent the loud guy from taking over.
  • Another method is Idea markets, where colleagues can vote new ideas up or down.

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Tony Robbins

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” 

Tony Robbins
Know your outcome

Figure out your “why.” Consider these questions.

  • What opportunities will become available by learning that new thing?
  • What would you do if you could use your desired skill right now?
  • Will you have a deeper relationship with your family/friends? Grow your business? 
Model the best

No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s someone in the world that has already achieved what you want.

You have access nowadays to endless resources in the form of biographies, books, videos, online classes and so on. You just have to search.

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Excessive sitting

Sitting for an extended period is linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

Excessive sitting may also slow metabolism, whi...

Just 30 minutes of activity...
... on 5 days each week (going to the gym, cycling to work, or going for a lunchtime walk) could prevent 1 in 12 deaths globally.

Injecting physical activity into your working day could reduce some of the health risks that are elevated by being sedentary.

Cycle or walk to work
  • Cycling to work has been linked with a reduced risk of death from all causes, and a lower cancer risk.
  • Both cycling and walking to work have also been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • People who walk or cycle to work have a lower body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage in midlife than those who commute by car.
  • Those who actively commute to work also benefit from improved well-being and report feeling more able to concentrate and under less strain.

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Early Mistakes, Late Start & Future Hurdles.

Savings and investments should be part of a monthly budget even when young or just starting a career.

You cannot save enough if you are waiting until your late 30's before...

Myth vs. Reality in Retirement Planning
  • I’m not that old:  It’s not about NOW but saving for your old days when you can no longer work full time. 
  • I’ll wait for a lump sum is just an excuse to postpone planning or procrastinate.
  • Assumed Family/External Support: It’s better to be prepared for eventualities and have contingency funds in hand.
  • Financial Requirements Decrease: Medical costs increase with age. Inflation and other factors might also come into play.
  • I will not live that long or I won’t retire: People tend to live longer, but they will suffer from medical ailments.
Retirement Goals

To have a secure and financially independent retired life during your golden years with regular post retirement income, a corpus of savings/investments and a safe shelter or home.

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A Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Apologies bring us face-to-face with the fact that we have something to apologize for, triggering a sense of guilt and shame. 

Saying sorry puts one’s shameful beha...

The Chance to Move Forward

When people focus on their core values, they seem to become more willing to sincerely apologize. 

By understanding the many barriers to an apology— the indifference to another’s pain or the fraying of a relationship—we can glimpse what’s holding us back from saying “I’m sorry” in a particular situation. 

From there, we have the opportunity to change course and let the healing begin.

How to Make a Good Apology

A high-quality apology has three elements:

  1. It accepts responsibility for the wrong and doesn’t even hint that outside forces, or the victim, caused the offender to do what they did.
  2. It’s unqualified. If the apology contains a “but,” it fails. There’s time later—after the injury has had time to heal—to bring up any qualifications that might be relevant to future interactions.
  3. It offers to make amends to avoid the transgression in the future.
Being alone during a pandemic

Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere ...

Enforced solitude and its advantages

The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.

The wonders of a clear sense of purpose during isolation

As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.

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Cue Words That Tease Memory

Certain 'cue' words have the ability to make us remember the first time we did something, which is more often than not in our growing years, or as a young adult.

Example: the word 'Driving...

The Reminiscence Effect

The Reminiscence Effect or the Reminiscence Bump is something found in every middle-aged or old person: a person's memories of the formative years (15 years to the late 20s) are more easily recalled and fondly remembered.

First Time For Everything

The 'First-Time' Theory states that our first job, first kiss, and other things that happened to us for the first time, have an extraordinary effect on our memory, leading to greater and more elaborate cognitive processing.

Example: The first year of college, with its many firsts that a person goes through is more easily remembered than the last years.

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