Lower your expectations, increase your happiness

“Did you listen to Rick Steves this afternoon?” Kris asked me on Sunday. I shook my head. “That's too bad,” she said. “It was about the relationship between money and happiness. I think you would have liked it — and so would your readers.”

“But I just wrote about happiness!” I said.

“J.D.,” she said. “You can never write too much about happiness.” And so I tracked down last weekend's episode of Travel with Rick Steves and listened to his discussion with Eric Weiner about “the geography of bliss”. Kris was right. This is good stuff.

The Geography of Bliss

Weiner is a long-time correspondent for NPR. His new book, The Geography of Bliss, is about “how place — in every aspect of the word — shapes us, defines us.” It's about finding the happiest places on Earth.

In Steves' interview with Weiner, they compare and contrast “national happiness” in countries around the world. What makes some cultures happy and others less so? Is it wealth? Freedom? Or is it something else?

The show explores the relationship between democracy, consumerism, capitalism, envy, and happiness. There's also a discussion about the role of religion and spirituality. And, of course, Steves and Weiner talk about the connection between money and happiness. Weiner says:

If we're talking about the relationship between money and happiness, what really matters is how you feel about money. There have been studies that show that people are materialistic — irrespective of how much money they actually have — people who are materialistic tend to be less happy than people who are not. […]

Switzerland is a very wealthy country, but they don't really show off their wealth. It's not a “if you've got it, flaunt it” kind of society. It's an “If you've got it, hide it” society because they don't want to provoke envy in others. Americans are more individualistic and…flashier, I think.

Close relationships are a better predictor of happiness than monetary wealth. “Happiness is other people,” Weiner says. “Our happiness is determined in large part by our quality and quantity of relationships with others.

Expectations and Happiness

To me, the most interesting part of the conversation explored the connection between expectations and happiness. How does our sense of what we “deserve” affect how content we are? I liked this exchange so much that I'm going to quote a huge chunk of it:

Steves
I know it's dangerous to make sweeping generalizations, but when you compare Europeans to Americans — we're like the richest people on the planet, we're all embracing democracy — but we've got some fundamental differences. What is it in Europe that makes them happy compared to us and vice versa?

Weiner
That's a good question. European countries — especially northern European countries: Switzerland, Denmark, et cetera — tend to be happier than we are in these surveys. (The Netherlands I would include in that as well.)

Let's talk about Denmark, for instance, because Denmark ranks consistently in the top three for happiest countries in the world. The Danes have low expectations. In survey after survey, they're asked about expectations, and they have relatively low expectations. We Americans have very very high expectations. And I think that partly explains the discrepancy.

I think if you have low or moderate expectations, you're less likely to be disappointed. You're more likely to be satisfied or content. You're more likely to be happy.

I realize that rubs a lot of Americans the wrong way because we pride ourselves on living in a country where everything is possible. I just returned from a week's vacation in Disney World. You go to the Magic Kingdom, and the refrain there is “dreams really do come true”. They sing it over and over again in the parade there and they talk about it. That is a very American idea.

It's great if your dreams do come true, but it's going to disappoint you and make you a little less happy if they don't.

I think more modest expectations among Europeans might partly explain this.

Steves
Isn't that interesting. I was just in a taxi in Chicago and there was some guy from Somalia or something driving the cab. It was a beat up old cab, and he was just happily drumming his steering wheel, saying, “America! You can win the lottery and be rich!” And I thought, well he'll never be rich. But he was just living in this land where dreams can come true. Just to be close to it, he was happy.

I was just in Denmark, and it occurred to me there's not a hint of a Big Gulp society there. They get little cups, and they sip it. They pay twice as much for a little cup as we pay for a big cup and they just sip it.

I'm intrigued by the notion that our happiness is related to our expectations.

I think that many Get Rich Slowly readers have found this to be true. I know that I have. I used to feel that I deserved to have nice things, that I was entitled to have a new car and a big house and the latest gadgets. I wanted to have what my parents had — but I wanted it when I was 30 instead of 50. Because my expectations were high, I spent to meet them.

My high expectations led to lifestyle inflation: As I earned more, I spent more. But I wasn't any happier.

Once I learned to embrace frugality, I found that I could not only be happy with what I already had — I could be happy with less. Many others have reported this same experience. Frugality and thrift are about lowering our expectations, about learning to sip from a small cup — and enjoy it! — instead of inhaling a Big Gulp.

There's a lot more from this program that I'd like to write about (including the role the media plays in creating happiness — or, more to the point, unhappiness), but if I go much further, I'll have transcribed the entire interview. If you have 30 minutes to spare, I highly recommend this show. The interview takes up the first half of last weekend's Travel with Rick Steves.

More about...Psychology, Travel

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Catherine
Catherine
10 years ago

“Expectations” per se, are probably not the real problem. I have very high expectations for my own performance, for instance. If someone is paying me for my time and expects a certain activity, they should have high expectations for how I will perform that activity. They have a right to that, as they are paying for it. I have always been raised with high expectations for my own effort, and it has helped me to develop an excellent work ethic. What we need to ditch is entitlement. That’s actually what you are talking about in your own history. You thought… Read more »

Bajan Queen
Bajan Queen
10 years ago

This post was right on. When I immigrated to America 15 years ago, I was taken aback by the very how very unhappy people seemed to be even though America was (in my mind) so rich with resources. In my mind minor things were received as major disappointments to the people I encountered. I realized quickly that it was because of the level of expectations that Americans possess. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t have high expectations, however those expectation must be realistic or you are setting yourself up for disappointment if those expectations aren’t met. I hope this post… Read more »

Adam Hange
Adam Hange
10 years ago

I love Rick Steves. And I love GRS. I love this article. My wife and I lived in Japan for two years, and we thought a lot about money and happiness while we were there. Neither of us would describe Japan as a “happy” country, but we did see the obvious difference from America’s “Big Gulp” mentality. While we were there the movie “Wall-E” came out, and that, too highlighted the differences in attitudes towards money. I don’t think it’s just Europe and America…I think it’s America. We are the anomaly. We need to reset the norm here. I think… Read more »

EscapeVelocity
EscapeVelocity
10 years ago

One of the things that used to amuse my German boyfriend on visits to the states was bicycles. In Germany, they were a mode of transportation, and were accessorized with lights, a bell, and a basket. In the US, they were sporting equipment, name brand, very expensive, and required special clothing and a helmet. Even the joggers would be dressed from head to toe in clothing that was specially made only for jogging. I really can’t think of much of anything that Americans do that they don’t feel compelled to buy special equipment for. Knowing which equipment to buy is… Read more »

ObliviousInvestor
ObliviousInvestor
10 years ago

I was recently reading John Bogle’s Enough, and in it he quoted an article from American Psychologist.

The article claimed that there are 3 primary determinants in people’s happiness:
1) Autonomy — the ability to “do our own thing”
2) Close relationships with friends/family
3) Exercising Competence (putting your talents to use)

…seemed pretty on target to me. Also noteworthy that money & possessions aren’t on the list at all (though money of course relates somewhat to your ability to have each of the 3).

Neal@Wealth Pilgrim
10 years ago

This article gave me an “ah ha” moment – big time.

I have always thought the spending less was a great way to decrease stress – i.e. reduce a negative force in my life and the lives of others.

I never considered the idea that frugality is tied to happiness – i.e. a way to increase a positive force in my life.

It’s subtle – yet to me, really really inspiring.

Thanks J.D.

Wise Money Matters
Wise Money Matters
10 years ago

I was just listening to the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast and they were talking about whether stupid people are happier or not. They go into all sorts of various studies about happiness and make some great points. The biggest is that happiness is a subjective feeling that is based off of many different factors. for instance, if some country just won some big soccer game, and then immediately took a survey to judge their happiness, they would be more likely to say they are happy while the opposing team’s country would be more likely to say they are not… Read more »

Chett
Chett
10 years ago

I watched Eric over a year and a half ago on an ABC News broadcast. http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4230541&affil=wabc I agree with the premise, but it is very hard to “de-program” expectations and how far do you go to remove ambition to promote happiness? Desire and ambition isn’t an emotion that can be shut off like a spigot, these emotions feed on themselves, creating an almost unquenchable feeling in most people. It reminds me of the pursuit of “More” in Dominguez’s Your Money Your Life Book As a teacher should I tell kids to settle for whatever life gives them, accept their lot… Read more »

Kevin@OutOfYourRut
10 years ago

JD–This post took guts! This is almost a heresay in our hyper competitive culture, especially in the PF corner of the web. Ultimately, the purpose of money and posessions should be to support the life we live, and not an end in themselves. In American culture it seems we lost that connection some time ago and it’s causing all sorts of distortions. Another issue we have is that we tend to be future oriented–we fully expect a bright(er)future, and we’re discombobulated at any hint that it may be otherwise. Future orientation is good at some level, but it does have… Read more »

Beth
Beth
10 years ago

I totally agree, and I appreciate this post because I’ve been struggling with this issue lately.

I don’t want a big house, fancy car or a lot of “stuff”, but what really gets my back up is that people who have a lot of money think they’re better than everyone else and more entitled to “stuff” because they have money. In my experience, money doesn’t make people happier, nicer, kinder or more caring than anyone else. Those are the things that are important to me.

Sometimes I need a reminder, though 😉

Tyler@FrugallyGreen
10 years ago

I love Rick Steves because he is so much more than just a travel writer. It seems like most people so far agree that there’s some sort of balance that must be struck between striving for more in terms of personal achievement, but desiring less material items in order to find true happiness. This seems to be a basic tenet of frugality – using less to achieve more – but as it’s been noted, gets lost quite often because we’re a culture that has conditioned ourselves to want more now. Fighting against the stream can sometimes be quite a challenge.… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

Once having been a Futures Trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, we now find ourselves without a job, laid off and meeting our basic survival needs, ie shelter, food, and especially Health. It’s really quite easy and we have found a Wealth of experiences through our Library, volunteering in local Community and walking meeting neighbors and shopping locally(we sold our Car). Our needs are quite simple and we enjoy PBS and NPR instead of Cable-TV (not necessary and a time waster). By locating in an area of a Tourist Town -pop 225,000, where we can live as if in a… Read more »

Kevin@OutOfYourRut
10 years ago

Tyler (11)–Good point about fighting against the stream! I think that’s mostly a problem when you first start doing it. Once you’ve been going against the grain for a while–and you find that you CAN survive, even quite nicely–it’s actually quite liberating! You start to think ‘I’m OK, and I don’t need to do what everyone else is’. We’re not all round pegs–some of us are square, some rectangular, some have jagged edges–and we’re all OK. The problems, stresses and disconnects creep in when all of us ‘oddballs’–probably the majority of us–try to act like round pegs. At that point… Read more »

JerichoHill
JerichoHill
10 years ago

Are we clearly delineating what are good expectations and what are bad expectations? At first glance the article reads like low expectations are better for us mentally, and that’s a supposition I disagree with wholeheartedly. I’m not sure a feeling of “I deserve this” equates to an expectation, at least not in the sense that I understand expectations. Clearly, ridding ourselves of a sense of “I must have (consumption good X) to be happy” or “I make Y, therefore I deserve and must have Z to be happy.” When I give my intro PF talk at the local coffeehouses, I… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
10 years ago

I know many people who think the only answer to being happy is to earn a lot of money and keep earning it and spending it as fast as they get it -but they still aren’t happy. I have seen some of those people complain(long after they could retire) about getting up and going to work, some died shortly after retirement and some “find” happiness in shopping most days of the week(at least here at my office). I am retiring soon and people can’t believe it. But I was thinking how much happier I will be when I don’t have… Read more »

HollyP
HollyP
10 years ago

Chett, it seems to me that what you call ambition can easily live alongside happiness, if you consider ambition “doing a good job to make something better.” Making a better mousetrip, if you will.

My husband is the perfect example of this. He works hard, does a great job, and tries to move up the ladder so he can have more influence to help make things work right. He enjoys the satisfaction of making a positive difference in his workplace, and for his employees & customers.

Carmen
Carmen
10 years ago

I think during these times of pulling back and acquiring less have been some of the happiest times of my life. I think the post is very on point.

Lisa
Lisa
10 years ago

When I had a troubled relationship years ago, I read a lot of relationship books, and one of the experts said the same exact thing about relationships – that the people who had the lowest expectations had the happiest relationships. Not low expectations in terms of putting up with any intolerable situation, but low expectations in respect to what the relationship was going to do for them – I’ll meet a prince and have 2.5 children and a loving partner who fulfills all of my needs, etc. I see the same tie with money – we often expect that money… Read more »

ClaireTN
ClaireTN
10 years ago

Thank you, J.D.! This is a great post. When my husband and I bought our first home, we found ourselves really reassessing our values. Everyone was telling us that the only right choice was to buy as much house as we could afford, but we just didn’t feel like we needed that much space. What would we do with it…fill it with stuff, heat it, and clean it? That just didn’t seem appealing, so we bought a nice little place — far less than we could afford — in a walkable neighborhood where people really knew each other. That process… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

We had it all. Home over the bay, travelling First Class, skiing in Europe, Sunbeam Tiger (classic car), Forumla 1 races – Montreal, etc. etc. But it didn’t make us happy as we were when we lived in Chicago in 1-bedroom apt. I found suburban living was a killer to our marriage as we spent time tending to our house and possessions and shopping all the time. Less Play, Less Loving, eventuall a divorce. Too bad some of Us have to grow and mature to find our Values and not accept what our world tells us we need… Simplicity. “In… Read more »

ctreit
ctreit
10 years ago

I think there is fine line between setting healthy goals and being obsessed by silly things/goals. I know that I would not be happy, if I did not have goals. At the same time I know that I would not be happy if I felt compelled to sacrifice everything to reach a goal.

Jon Davidson
Jon Davidson
10 years ago

A sense of entitlement breeds a level of expectation. Are your expectations realistic? Who is to say? Each of us are different. Certainly the expectations of someone in Europe will be different than a U.S. citizen.
Why not set individual goals instead of having a broad set of expectations? Goals are akin to having a contract drawn up by an attorney and expectations are more like a handshake agreement. When goals are set properly, specific and time-bounded, there is no mistake as to whether or not they have been achieved. Are people willing to make that effort?

Danielle
Danielle
10 years ago

I’ve had some thoughts along these lines about money and percieved hapiness. I thought at one time that buying “stuff” would make me happy. Buying stuff was the only was for me to assert power over my money…. by using it. Then I realized although my material possesions are lovely… that money is gone and cannot be replaced. The big ah-ha moment was NOT spending my money was the ONLY real way to assert power over my money… be cause every other way…. it isn’t your money anymore! And i find that i am happier now than i ever was… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
10 years ago

I don’t think a person can “decide” to lower their expectations any more than a gay person can “decide” to be straight. Sure, they can go through the therapy, walk the line, and start a family, but deep down, they’ll still be gay, no matter how much they try to convince themselves otherwise. I think it’s a lot easier for the Europeans in question to have their low expectations, because that’s all they’ve ever known. North Americans, however, grow up surrounded by Big Gulps and Bacon Double Cheeseburgers. They can’t just decide to “forget” that those things exist once they… Read more »

bon
bon
10 years ago

Interesting book on the topic — Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert The long and the short of it is that we can never predict our own happiness, but should talk to others about their experiences and levels of happiness to predict what will make us happy. Most interestingly, he makes the point that our society continuously reinforces the message that children and money will make us happy, when in reality they do not. There are so many cultural ways of reinforcing this message due to evolutionary necessity — the collective pursuit of children and money ensure that society keeps… Read more »

mhb
mhb
10 years ago

Sometimes your sense of timing fascinates me, JD. I was just moping last night about not being able to travel anywhere far away this year (my coworker just returned from Ireland!), and then moping about our tiny apartment this morning (our friends just closed on a condo, and here we are still renting!). But we’ve got a great marriage, an adorable cat, a loving and (mostly) healthy extended family, relative income security, and we’re both working on interesting graduate degrees. For vacation this year, we’re going camping – we’re both able-bodied and our families gave us a nice tent a… Read more »

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

I am a European now living in the US and I have experienced a huge cultural difference between the two places. Lifestyle expectations seem to run high in America, yet people seem to want a lot for a little. Here we expect access to the fundamentals of a progressive society (as listed in the BBC article); healthcare, finance and education, yet paying for them is met with howls of horror. I think it’s interesting that top earners in Denmark pay 60% income tax! That small cup mentality enables their society to provide access to the above fundamentals for every member… Read more »

RB @ Richby30Retireby40
RB @ Richby30Retireby40
10 years ago

Geography of Bliss, sounds like a great book to check out at the library. Thnx for the suggestion! I think one very important factor is not surrounding yourself with materialistic people (not meant to be a bad connotation). I don’t know how many times the splurges of my friends have pushed me to splurge on my own. Friend bought a $6,000 IWC watch, so I felt like I should enjoy one too. I actually ended up buying 4 watches in 12 months b/c I got so into them! BAD WASTE OF MONEY! At least I sold two, got store credit… Read more »

Kevin@OutOfYourRut
10 years ago

Notice that the countries listed as being the happiest are small countries, Denmark, Switzerland, an article on Yahoo said Costa Rica. There may be a different mindset there. They aren’t dominant countries who’s actions could change the course of history. They probably have lower national ambitions (or none at all) and that’s reflected in a less driven culture. They have a greater emphasis on happiness and lower expectations for greatness of many sorts. The US is not only a large country, but also the most dominant in the world in most regards, which means what we do has impact beyond… Read more »

DC Portland
DC Portland
10 years ago

Thanks JD for the great post and link to Steve’s interview with Weiner. I am just now completing a master’s degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Weiner’s not a psychologist, but draws a lot of his ideas from the work of leading positive psychologists, such as Martin Seligman, Barbara Fredrickson, Chris Peterson, Daniel Gilbert (noted by one of your commentors), etc. The important point is that what you wrote in your blog about happiness is fully supported by scientific evidence. That is the beauty of the new field of positive psychology – it is based on hard… Read more »

Rob Bennett
Rob Bennett
10 years ago

Yes, lower your expectations re the materialism side of things.

But at the same time increase your expectations re the athletic side and the emotional side and the spiritual side and the cultural side.

I see it as a trade-off. I don’t see cutting back as representing any kind of “sacrifice” in an overall sense. That’s important for me because I’m not good at self-denial.

Rob

AD
AD
10 years ago

I remember when I decided that I could just “opt out.” Opt out of wanting a fancy car, a huge house, all of the external things to validate me.

I don’t watch much TV, and I seek relationships with people who value the things I value. Every now and then I backpack through the desert for the ultimate detox. With the commericals, billboards, print ads, radio ads, etc., sometimes it’s hard to shut all of that off, but I can’t even get cell phone reception in the desert. It’s bliss.

Marsha
Marsha
10 years ago

Happiness is tricky – hard to distinguish from joy, fun, and satisfaction. Still, the subject is provocative, and the post is instructive.

Good to know that Rick Steves has a podcast – I’m addicted to podcasts! This post also reminds me that I forgot to watch the rerun of the Michael J. Fox show about optimism last Sunday night. 🙁

Becky
Becky
10 years ago

I find it interesting that the article said that the northern European countries are the happiest. I live in Poland and the national pastime is complaining. Honestly. They are known for being unhappy–and grumble about everything, from traffic, to politics, to the weather (no matter what it is like–it’s either too hot, too cold, too rainy, etc.). Northern Europeans also have the highest rates of people with depression in the world–at least I was told this within the last week–that is, Norway, Sweden, and probably Denmark, though Norway and Sweden were mentioned. I’ve read it’s really high in England as… Read more »

Jess
Jess
10 years ago

I agree with this post. For me, I personally think an amount of unhappiness is the realistic part of your expectations and steps taken to accomplish your expectations. To some extent, compare people who are want to get rich quick versus those who want to get rich slowly. Slowly is more realistic and can be achieved by most people, while quickly only happens for some. I would venture a guess that the slow folk are probably happier. I also agree that relationships are key. I know for a fact that I am happiest when my personal relationships are going well… Read more »

Heather
Heather
10 years ago

I agree with this to an extent. However, my husband has such low expectations for life that he seems to lack motivation to achieve anything. Maybe I’m confusing low expectations with lack of goals. Hmph.

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

I admit a previous post actually caused a visceral (sp?) reaction in its’ first sentence: Just the mention of “never” and “should” to me suggests some kind of punative life choice or limiting at least.

I took those words out of my vocabulary and find it liberating.

Paul in cAshburn
Paul in cAshburn
10 years ago

@[email protected] #13:
“It’s like stepping out of the plane and finding you’re still flying.”

Interesting simile. Might it perhaps also apply to our current economy? We’ve stepped out of the plane with hope in our hearts, and we think we’re still flying… until we realize – too late – that falling is not flying (or perhaps this is a fairy story and we grew wings, or, perhaps the law of gravity has been repealed?)

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”
Jimmy Buffett 🙂

sally
sally
10 years ago

I second the recommendation of “Stumbling on Happiness.” Research by psychologists and behavioral economists like George Loewenstein and Dan Ariely is also very relevant – for instance, I liked the article “The Pursuit and Assessment of Happiness Can Be Self-Defeating.” [email protected]: I think the issue of high expectations for one’s own performance is distinct from high expectations of wealth / happiness / etc. The former probably falls more along the lines of “exercising competence” as described by [email protected] Perhaps part of the problem is that people start to see excelling in their jobs, etc., as a means to an end… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

Heather, I used to feel that way also about my husband’s expectations. It was really that he was more secure in the moment. He had grown up wealthy or at least with abundance. I had grown up poor and was fired up with achievement. I also had been a Ward of the Court having been abused (beaten) by my Father etc. etc. My point is that I was driven to be successful through my career and personal achievement — and I did it becoming one of the first women members of the Merc trading foreign currencies. My husband was an… Read more »

Kevin@OutOfYourRut
10 years ago

Paul (38)–The simile I used about the plane was to support that we could get out of the plane (the culture) and find that we didn’t need it to fly (flying “solo”).

However, it works well in your analogy of the economy as well.

Thanks!

Cheryl D.
Cheryl D.
10 years ago

I like words and I find it interesting that people tend to “pursue” happiness, but “embrace” or “find” joy in the little things in life.

Mama Bird
Mama Bird
10 years ago

This is a great post. I think about this a lot actually. And I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you felt “entitled”. I think that is the problem with many Americans, is the sense of entitlement. That they are part of the “richest country in the world” and they should get a part of it. Whatever. I was actually a lot happier when I was living in Australia and had a LOT less than I do now. I often think about selling up and going back to basics and getting rid of a bunch… Read more »

Frugal Bon Vivant
Frugal Bon Vivant
10 years ago

Entitlement indeed!

@MamaBird: I also noticed that most Australians I come in contact with have a completely different mindset on life and money. Purely anecdotal, but it seemed that fewer of them are running after achievements like pursuing college degrees & master’s degrees, but spend more time enjoying life: working to travel for a year etc. Their minimum wage is also 2x the US average, so I’d say that has a lot to do with it too…

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

Thanks for this post, J.D. It came at just the right time for me – I was really comparing myself to the Joneses, and feeling badly that I didn’t measure up. This was a great reminder about focusing on the important things and keeping my priorities and expectations in check.

Bret
Bret
10 years ago

This is a great subject for a post. I guess I’m pretty lucky because I discovered at an early age that relationships were the source of my happiness. I also enjoy experiences and am just as happy staring at the ocean as some people would be staring at a new flat-screen. I am also achievement and financially oriented, but I try to keep those in perpective. Regarding the America vs. the World issue, I think it’s way overblown. Throughout history, there has always been an over-achiever like America in the world. Whether it was Phoenicia, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Spain,… Read more »

EllenRN
EllenRN
10 years ago

I agree with the premise of the discussion. And concur with th discussion about what expectations should be lowered….I expect to do things to the best of my ability and I expect that of those around me. I do not have a sense of entitlement and I wonder if this is what has the US culture in so much trouble. I have what I have earned and I feel that it was my responsibility to earn it. I do not expect to have 10million dollars when I have not prepared myself to achieve that goal. Does this make sense????? Beth,… Read more »

AJ
AJ
10 years ago

This is so true! Great post! I had a time in my life where everyone close to me was just missing. I was so depressed. It did not matter how much or little money I had. I was sad. I take healthy personal relationships over money any day. I can not stand to be miserable.

TosaJen
TosaJen
10 years ago

Interesting post . . . I largely agree with it. I have a few random thoughts about it . . . I completely agree with what [email protected] said, both about relationships and money — I’m much happier living according to my values, not striving for a particular picture of what my life will look like. The entitlement/expectation issue is important. Many Americans (including me, I admit) seem to have an “I followed the rules, I shouldn’t have to work that hard, where’s mine?” attitude, while a higher proportion of immigrants come in, see all the opportunities for education, starting small… Read more »

Rick Arvielo
Rick Arvielo
10 years ago

Thanks for the information

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