From The NYTimes (via the shrewd, insightful J. :P).
Now, I’ve always thought that telling your story is important. And, what you choose to tell probably doubly so. Then, David Brooks went and did something amazing. He gave people a how.
Enter: The Life Report.
This is pretty neat!
Brooks asked wise (read: older) people to essentially report on their lives. How did they do? What made them happy? Regrets?
Here are some of the places where it gets interesting…
Self-reflexivity and rumination does not a ‘good’ life make.
Apropos, “Many of the most impressive people … were strategic self-deceivers. When something bad was done to them, they forgot it, forgave it or were grateful for it. When it comes to self-narratives, honesty may not be the best policy.” But instead, kindness and Otis Redding that’s something we can all impress on each other…
Following, Brooks notes that the people best able to categorize– chapter if you will– their lives and move on are the happiest. The happiest people have a firm(er) grip on time and change, and “[b]y seeing time as something divisible into chunks, they could more easily stop and self-appraise. They had more control over their fate. Sometimes a short memory is a good thing!
Brooks also notes that for the ‘good’ life progress matters. And, progress is noted accordingly. Life gets better. Period. Relationships can change. People can learn. Important though, the happiest people know that you cannot control other people.