Happiness, like beauty, lies within

For more than 30 years, dozens of psychologists have pursued a single concept. A simple idea, too.: that focusing on intrinsic goals (personal growth, the people we love, community service, or health) fosters well-being, while focusing on extrinsic goals (wealth, fame, or beauty) ultimately erodes it.

Now, after reviewing 105 studies and a sample of 70,110 participants, Australian researchers They seem to have confirmed it.

The relationship between money and happiness in all countries of the world, in an interesting graph

A large meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is conducted “The effect of an independent variable on a specific final outcome, whether intervention or treatment, is a systematic approach to synthesizing findings from a variety of empirical studies.” Roughly speaking, the results of many different studies are taken, ‘transferred’ to the same scale and analyzed as if they were the same study. This way we can see if the effects are real.

Researchers follow this method discovered The correlation between pursuing intrinsic goals and well-being was 0.24. That is positive. On the other hand, the correlation with extrinsic motives was negative (-0.22).

What does all this mean? It is important to note that these studies are not causal. Or what’s the same: we know that there is a relationship, but we don’t know what comes before. That is, it may be that those who achieve greater well-being focus on internal goals and leave external ones aside.

A moral compass. However, the results are interesting because, As the author points out, they give us a horizon, a reference. to individuals because it gives them a framework on their own path to happiness. It may not be a magic recipe, but it’s a very useful reference at times when it’s relatively easy to lose your way.

And, beyond individuals, it helps organizations better understand how they can help the people they serve to live fuller, more meaningful lives.

In short, it gives us the tools to imagine (and validate) other forms of life.

Against the American Dream. In ‘Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt’, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges stated that the American dream was that “life would be better if you obeyed the law and worked hard (…). It was the idea that, According to researchersThis is checked with the job.

I don’t know if it’s enough, to be honest. But what is clear is that it invites us to rethink the way we value human expectations in society.

Picture | Diana Wing So

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