“Personal growth and helping others are more likely to promote happiness than money and status
Americans have been on a decades-long march toward greater material rewards, social and professional status, and physical appearance. And there are signs that we have become much less happy as a result.
People pursue life goals that reflect different mixes of what social scientists call intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. ‘The intrinsic factors are about personal growth and self-knowledge, connections and social intimacy with other people, and wanting to help the human community for altruistic reasons,’ says Kennon Sheldon, professor of psychology at theUniversity of Missouri. Extrinsic goals, he says, are about ‘money, luxury, appearance, attractiveness, status, popularity, looks, and power.’”
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Quote: Thoreau, H.D. (2006). Thoreau and the art of life: precepts and principles. (R. MacIver, ed.). Williston, Vermont: Heron Dance Press.