Very much cheered this evening by reading Lucy Kellaway’s latest FT column, Happiness is finding your inner receptionist. She writes:
“A couple of weeks ago another cheering piece of work was published by scientists at the University of Warwick showing that happiness over a lifetime is U-shaped. It looked at thousands of workers in 80 different countries and found that most people start off happy, and then slide towards misery, reaching a trough at 44. By our early 50s we start to get happy again and by our 60s and 70s happier still.
It isn’t altogether clear why we get cheerier as death draws closer. I suspect it is mainly because the burden of ambition and expectation slips away. We no longer hanker after what we are never going to have. I’m not quite there yet and neither are most of my contemporaries. Ambition still rages, and prospects are intolerably uncertain. But if we hold tight, the upward curve of the U will carry us along soon. We don’t need career coaching. We just need time.”
I read this to my youngest (a confirmed pessimist at 18) and his response was the title to this post. I am next going to email the link to my eldest!