Wild or Tame? Which One Are You?

Finally! Research that explains why I act the way I do. Columbia University’s Motivational Science Center studied people’s activities and what brought them the most happiness. Even more telling were how those activities changed as they aged.

Twenty-somethings tend to equate happiness with high-energy activities. Words like excited and ecstatic are usually attached to spontaneous things—even risky things—and living life full throttle. 

Researchers labeled this Promotion Motivation—the urge to take chances, including career moves that may not work out. Happiness comes from happenings—the more happenings, the more happiness.

By age forty, adults associate happiness with things running smoothly at work and home. It’s also about feeling secure in relationships. Keeping healthy matters more too. This behavior is called Prevention Motivation—and people are more concerned with preserving and maintaining the things they value.

It appears that time often tames our wild side. We learn the downside to risk is loss—and those losses can be deep. Yet, no matter how tame or wild we are there remains something we all need—one another.  

We’re on a journey to a place where our happiness doesn’t come from all that happens; it’s a place where happiness is sharing life with those we love. 

And then, no matter what happens we have those we love alongside us—and isn’t that true happiness?

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