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Happiness or Meaningfulness: Pick One

Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver, whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver rather than a taker.

That’s one of the takeaways in Some Key Differences between a Happy Life and a Meaningful Life, a paper by Roy Baumeister, author of Willpower and one of my favorite social psychologists.

Satisfying one’s needs and wants increased happiness but was largely irrelevant to meaningfulness…. Higher levels of worry, stress, and anxiety were linked to higher meaningfulness but lower happiness. Concerns with personal identity and expressing the self-contributed to meaning but not happiness.

So apparently I live a very meaningful life.

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