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December 10, 2007


Tim Worstall

Also explains the Danish conundrum: they're a lot happier than most and also have the lowest expectations.


...you'll never get the big money job and beautiful wife...

Unless, of course, managerialism is abolished and workers get their slice of the pie.

Matt Munro

The frame of reference also includes social representations (generated by advertsising & media) which induce aspiration and group membership through consumption. Unhappiness then arises through self comparison with a reference group that has no basis in reality, or is simply unrepresentative of society.
The best approach is to set yourself very low standards, and then fail to meet them, that way you can't dissapoint anyone.


Aspirations? It's true that I vaguely assumed that I'd end up in charge of the Queen's Navee, so that discovering at 18 that I needed glasses was a bit of a shock. A four-eyes barking "Damn the torpedoes"? I think not. But I'm not sure that "aspiration" quite covers a vague assumption, does it? And, you'll be glad to know, my dismal guitar-plucking proved no barrier to finding myself with a beautiful wife. Don't give up, kid.


I'm a very contented person. Does this mean I have an ugly wife? Shall I give her your address and a tyre iron?

Speaking personally, I've always assumed this is why I don't like risk taking (including gambling, drugs and such things). I became aware fairly early on that the joy of winning was, for me, less than the pain of losing, both in depth and length.

There must, presumably, be people who are the other way round, for whom the joy of winning eclipses the pain of losing. Is the conclusion from this that they'll actually be less happy overall?


If you want to get all Country & Western about it, having a beautful wife (who other men covet) is no guarantee of happiness. (I realise I'm missing the point.)


So high aspirations lead to unhappiness? Big deal; happiness isn't everything. If you're realistic, you'll realize that aiming high and failing is still better than aiming low and succeeding.


If that comment is true, Ashley Cole should be waterboarded until he begs to be actually drowned to death.

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