I suspect there might not be. One reason why I think I’m happier now than when I was younger (despite the U-shape in happiness over the life cycle) is precisely that I’ve stopped giving a damn what anyone thinks about me. If you care about your reputation, you end up worrying about things you can’t easily control. You become like Heather Mills, ranting hysterically about the press.
This is pretty much the exact opposite of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s recipe for happiness – flow. He says we maximize happiness when we lose ourselves in an activity – playing music or sport say – when we are in control, and yet oblivious to our own ego.
Happiness is that thing that I yearn for and actually try to find. I haven’t but all good things take time. What am I trying to do to find happiness? Here are some:
-Trying out new thing. This includes hobbies etc. I am trying to skew towards activities that do.
-Connecting with people. Trying to interact with people and increase my circle of friends. This also include improving connections with my friends now.
-Connecting with your family. We tend to take our parent and siblings for granted. I try to smooth things over and try to maximize my time spent with my parents.
-Self Improvement. A most overused word but its overused for a reason you are never perfect. What you can be is a person that is totally comfortable with yourself! The best way (for me) to be comfortable with yourself is to face the harsh realities of life and your rough edges head on. This means being honest to yourself with the things taht are painful for you, the things that irk you, things that give you joy, the activities that gives you a lasting joy. The good thing about being honest to yourself is that when you do it often enough it becomes a habit thatbrings you closer
I am proud to say that i see this in a few of my friends, where other people might ask why? they just do!
Why is this? Based on my all too biased personal experience I find that the majority of people I know are like this, consumption maximisers and probably all that I can blame is probably environment. TV is the national obssession.
I remember a local rock legend ranting about how the kids nowadays just buy off the rack punks wear, etc. Things like this are akin to exercise , you need to get to form a habit of doing, creating and when you are you probably just can’t stop.
-Find what you enjoy by doing a multitude of things and try to do it till you feel at least two levels of pay-offs, so you can evaluate if something is “your thing!” Why two levels? Well most experiences either have different pay-offs and different level of pay-off per skill level, you may not get to evaluate how much you would value something if you quit to quickly!
-Just like the previous post try to incorporate it to your life/habit. Remember how Randy Paush, when he is thinking always had a football in his hands, you could do this with guitar playing whilst watching tv play the guitar, or while walking think of poems if you’re into poetry, think of blogposts while waiting for your train, you have the time, you are just not using it wisely.
-Find a friend to help you with your hobbies. Remember its always fun to do something with someone.
-When something is beginning to define you step back and think if this is really something you want to be defined by.
-Evaluate the effort you put in to your thing. You must always strive to improve because you might end up just with another reflex action.
-Evaluate you thing. Sometimes doing your thing would hold you back on some important parts of life, Like how my Internet addiction is slowly making me more socially inept than I already am.
Read the whole post its packed with information.
I suspect something else is going on. That something is the spread of purely instrumental rationality – the idea that utility maximization consists solely in maximizing consumption for minimal expenditure of time and money. Many of us take it for granted that it’s rational to spend as little time cooking as possible, and that music should only be a consumption good.
What this ignores is that many things are worth doing for their own sake. I’ll never play the guitar as well as Martin Simpson, or cook as well as Gordon Ramsey, or grow enough vegetables to be self-sufficient. But I play the guitar, cook and grow my own because these things are worth doing for their own sake.
Labour is not just a cost, to minimized. It is – or can be – a form of satisfaction in itself – a way of asserting who we are.
The University of Chicago economist and Nobel laureate Robert Lucas declared that the spillovers in knowledge that result from talent-clustering are the main cause of economic growth. Well-educated professionals and creative workers who live together in dense ecosystems, interacting directly, generate ideas and turn them into products and services faster than talented people in other places can. There is no evidence that globalization or the Internet has changed that. Indeed, as globalization has increased the financial return on innovation by widening the consumer market, the pull of innovative places, already dense with highly talented workers, has only grown stronger, creating a snowball effect. Talent-rich ecosystems are not easy to replicate, and to realize their full economic value, talented and ambitious people increasingly need to live within them.
In the world of finance, too many quants see only the numbers before them and forget about the concrete reality the figures are supposed to represent. They think they can model just a few years’ worth of data and come up with probabilities for things that may happen only once every 10,000 years. Then people invest on the basis of those probabilities, without stopping to wonder whether the numbers make any sense at all.
As Li himself said of his own model: “The most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it.”
Can’t say I blame him. People generally hate being different in a real way. The way I observe things, it seems most people just want to stand-out in the center of attention kind of way and not in the different trailblazing kind of way that I admire!
What you think of as just you job consumes probably from 2-10 hours of a 24 hour day. If you add in all the stuff you do because of work like commuting/preparing reports outside office hours/even shopping for office clothes/stuff etc . You can’t deny that what you call as just your job consists of the majority of your usable waking hours.
We need to take charge of our lives and have pride in what we do, and as human beings we have the capacity to think and analyze complex stuff. Why are we not doing exactly that?
As for the picture, for somer strange reason Zemanta thinks it’s relevant!
But that’s only part of the problem. Far more serious, because it extends to all of finance not just to a single model, is the poor education that people get in university financial engineering programs and also the blind-following-the-blind behaviour that is so common throughout the industry.
Yes, I could tell you. I could spoonfeed you. You’ve got used to being spoonfed, haven’t you? But you’re passing the buck there, putting an awful lot of responsibility on my shoulders. I can cope, as I’m sure David Li can cope. But you’re a big boy/girl now, you should be able to think for yourself. Isn’t that part of your job description?
It’s getting quite tedious me telling people to get off their backsides and test the models for themselves. Don’t believe anything I say, don’t believe anything Nassim, also quoted in the Salmon article, says. Question everything. Switch your brains back on.