Thursday, February 6, 2020

When overcoming adversity is most useful

When people older than thirty are asked to remember the most important or vivid events of their lives, they are disproportionately likely to recall events that occurred between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.

This is the age when a person’s life blooms—first love, college and intellectual growth, living and perhaps traveling independently—and it is the time when young people (at least in Western countries) make many of the choices that will define their lives.

If there is a special period for identity formation, a time when life events are going to have the biggest influence on the rest of the life-story, this is it.

So adversity, especially if overcome fully, is probably most beneficial in the late teens and early twenties.
Source: The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Haidt also wrote, “Adversity may be necessary for growth because it forces you to stop speeding along the road of life, allowing you to notice the paths that were branching off all along, and to think about where you really want to end up.”

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