HAPPINESS AND GROWTH 

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin –

“It was lacking some important element. I searched for a way to account for the fact that people seem programmed to be striving constantly, to be stretching toward happiness. For example, we tend to think that we’ll be slightly happier in the future than we are in the present. And a sense of purpose is very important to happiness. But my formula didn’t account for these observations. I searched for the missing concept—was it striving? Advancement? Purpose? Hope? None of these words seemed right. Then I thought of a line from William Butler Yeats. “Happiness,”wrote Yeats, “is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”Contemporary researchers make the same argument: that it isn’t goal attainment but the process of striving after goals—that is, growth—that brings happiness. Of course. Growth. Growth explains the happiness brought by training for a marathon, learning a new language, collecting stamps; by helping children learn to talk; by cooking your way through every recipe in a Julia Child cookbook.”

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