According to a Washington Post article today , some psychologists have concluded that too much happiness can cause people to lack the drive and ambition to succeed! And they say too much cheerfulness can make you gullible and selfish, too.
According to June Gruber, a psychology professor at Yale University, we should only experience “positive moods” in moderation. What, you mean it’s good to feel good and positive when you mix it up with some negativity sometimes?
The article goes on to say that, like food, happiness is necessary and beneficial. But, just as too much food can cause problems, happiness can lead to “bad outcomes.”
“Research indicates that very high levels of positive feelings predict risk-taking behaviors, excess alcohol and drug consumption, binge eating and may lead us to neglect threats,” she says.
OK, now it gets interesting and ties up the corollary between being too happy and lower income. Are you ready for this? Another renowned psychologist, Edward Diener, famous for his happiness research – analyzed a variety of studies, including data from over 16,000 all over the world, and discovered that those folks who reported the highest life satisfaction early in their lives, reported LOWER incomes years later than those who felt “slightly less merry” when young.
Adding to the poor, happy souls’ dismal demise … they also dropped out of school earlier!
And then there’s the merits of sadness …
Yes, wouldn’t ya know more studies show that feeling sad helps us think in a more systematic manner, which helps breed more success. Sad people are “attentive to details and externally oriented, while happy people tend to make snap judgments that may reflect racial or sex stereotyping.”
Psychologists point out that emotions are adaptive: They make us change behavior to help us survive. Anger, they say, prepares us to fight. Fear helps us flee. So, I guess happy people don’t get angry, fearful or sad enough to be successful.
So, you be the judge. If you’re successful, monetarily, are you angry, fearful or sad? If so, maybe this would further prove their point.
For me, though, I’m sticking with happiness. I’d rather have to try hard to try harder at success than to give up being happy and have it come easier.
Oh well, that’s just silly ole, happy me! What about you?
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