Why people prefer bad news

Studies consistently find that people in developed societies tend to be pessimistic about their country and the world but optimistic about their own lives. They expect to earn more and to stay married longer than they generally do.

Matt Ridley

Natural Born Heroes

A selection of quotes from Natural Born Heroes:  How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall.

Empathy, the Greeks believed, was the source of strength, not softness; the more you recognized yourself in others and connected with their distress, the more endurance, wisdom, cunning, and determination you could tap into.

 

Heroism isn’t some mysterious inner virtue, the Greeks believed; it’s a collection of skills that every man and woman can muster so that in a pinch , they can become a Protector.

 

You are fit if you can adapt to the demands of your environment with ease and imagination.

The primary story is about resistance fighters on Crete battling the Germans during World War II, but McDougall weaves in the stories about Greek mythology, parkour, paleo diets, British historians, and his own experience visiting Crete.

The main story is really interesting, but overall the book is kind of a mess because it jumps around so much.  And as you can glean from the subtitle, the stories seem a bit exaggerated.

Risk

Those are the three types of risk mindsets in the world:

• Those who know stuff breaks and attempt to survive the breaks long enough to experience the eventual growth that occurs when people learn and improve from the breaks.

• Those who think stuff doesn’t break and are broken when it does.

• Those whose experience being broken leads them to believe there’s no such thing as eventual growth.

Optimist, complacentist, pessimist.

Morgan Housel – Collaborative Fund

Travel is No Cure for the Mind

We tend to grossly overestimate the pleasure brought forth by new experiences and underestimate the power of finding meaning in current ones.

Gratitude is what allows you to feel that same sense of wonderment about your day-to-day life as you would if you were walking the streets of a faraway city.

While travel does expand and stretch the horizons of what we know about the world, it is not the answer we’re looking for in times of unrest. To strengthen the health of the mind, the venue to do that in is the one we are in now.

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