Discover more from Granted
GRANTED: Why chasing happiness chases it away, who holds women back, and a dash of self-deprecation
I’m excited to announce that my second book will debut in February. It's called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, and it's about how we can champion our best ideas—and leaders can encourage others to think differently and speak up. It's a lot like this newsletter, except it's longer, and it exists in three-dimensional space.
Stay tuned for more details in the coming months. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:
1. Nobody Cares How Hard You Work
And neither should you. As Oliver Burkeman explains, “We chronically confuse the feeling of effort with the reality of results.”
2. Revisiting the Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck, patron saint of the growth mindset, urges us not to have a fixed mindset about fixed mindsets. She shares an action-packed guide for parents and teachers to help kids reframe difficulties as learning opportunities. “That feeling of math being hard is the feeling of your brain growing.”
3. Does Being Self-Deprecating Help or Harm You Socially?
Research suggests that self-deprecating humor makes high-status people look better and low-status people look worse. Here, five experts in human behavior give their two respective cents on how this plays out in real life. That's 10 cents' worth!
4. Uncovering the Secret History of Myers-Briggs
A deep dive by Merve Emre behind the scenes of the infamous personality inventory, including its surprisingly racist and sexist origins. If, like mine, your type is DBITBS (Doesn't Believe In Types or Bad Science), this is a must-read.
5. What Generous People's Brains Do Differently
Join Nicole Torres on a trip inside some noggins! A recent study shows that our brain bits process self-benefit and other-benefit in separate but coordinated ways, with implications for how generosity came to be—and how to foster it in ourselves and others.
6. How Friendships Change in Adulthood
From playground games to post-retirement reconnection and all the Facebook birthday wishes in between. An informative and emotionally stirring read from Julie Beck that tracks friendship over a lifetime, as geography, life events, and social media do their part to enhance or erode it.
7. Children Don't Ruin Women's Careers. Husbands Do.
Jessica Grose covers a sobering new study: having children doesn’t hold women back, but having unsupportive husbands does.
From My Desk:
8. The Virtue of Contradicting Ourselves
My latest NYT piece argues that we need to embrace our inconsistencies instead of rationalizing them away—and although we don’t like flip-floppers, we should vote for them anyway.
9. Does Trying to Be Happy Make Us Unhappy?
In the U.S., citizens are granted three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what if searching for happiness actually prevents us from finding it? There’s reason to believe that the quest for happiness might be a recipe for misery.
My thoughts are with the victims and their families in Paris. In the wake of tragedy, it is all too easy to lose hope. The outpouring of compassion from people opening their homes is a testament to what Abraham Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.