A short story in The New Yorker went viral this weekend!
A short story! Fiction! Went viral! This is very new and exciting.
But equally exciting is the number of conversations this story has sparked, and the lessons women (and men) can learn from it.
Sometimes, smart people say dumb things.
For example, I surfed with a buddy recently. Super smart guy. Successful exits and all that. Yet he couldn't seem to wrap his mind around the idea that my good friend (whom he'd never met, whom I've known for years -- apparently, men are really bad at gathering sufficient information before leaping to conclusions) likes me because I use my "feminine wiles."
Let's bust yet another popular psychology myth.
"Money doesn't buy happiness."
"Before others can love you, you have to love yourself."
Popular psychology is full of myths and misperceptions. Money does buy happiness (if you know how to spend it). We like people who are like us (though, often, people who are complementary attract.) And saying, "Before others can love you, you have to love yourself," is ridiculous, and makes zero sense.
People get their panties up in the HUGEST bunch when I have the nerve to say things like, "I love the way I look," or, "I'm really good at sports." It's like a trigger -- without knowing anything about me, or even finishing the article, they decide I'm "arrogant" and "vain" and "narcissistic."
But I'm actually not. (Seriously -- I checked. According to Dr. Craig Malkin's Rethinking Narcissism, I score very highly on "healthy self-regard," but pretty low on "narcissism.")
I recently found myself sitting by a river in Idaho with no agenda or technology - for a whole day! So I read Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie.
Love is pretty much the greatest thing ever. People who don't understand evolution think sex is the most important thing ever -- but without love, our species wouldn't exist. It doesn't matter how many women you can knock up if no one loves or cares for anyone and all the babies die.
As such, we evolved to be acutely sensitive to loneliness (and other negative emotions, like jealousy). And we evolved to love love.
Being driven by a desire to win means that when you achieve your goal, you’ll feel joy. Being driven by a fear of failure means when you succeed, you’ll feel relief.
Whether training for your high school swim team or trying to make it to the pros, you've probably experienced a plateau. All athletes do! There are tons of physical reasons -- and one very mental reason -- why this happens.
You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Which is why I'm taking the time to point out some of the reasons that words are not violence -- and that there is truth to the old rhyme, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And, unlike many well-known adages that were later proven wrong ("money can't buy happiness"; "don't compare yourself to others"; "don't praise your daughter's looks"), Emerson was exactly right.
Playfulness is a skill -- not a trait. Yet, because of changes in parenting styles and culture, many children no longer learn how to play.
In fact, thanks to helicopter parenting, children are no longer learning a lot of things.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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