The world of psychology is overflowing with literature on how to live a good life and be happy. Who doesn’t want to be happy? The problem is that often people look in the wrong places. For example, many people think that the road to happiness involves great achievement, in either academic performance or in their career. Other people search for happiness in trying to make sure they have plenty of money and material comfort or possessions. However, it is possible to become very successful and very rich and still be entirely unhappy.
New US research on ageing suggests that memory loss is not inevitable. Indeed, a very small group of older adults, called ‘superagers’, appear to have mental skills as sharp as people in their twenties. Furthermore, their brains appear ‘younger’, showing thicker connective pathways.
Would you describe yourself as left wing or right wing? According to recent research the way your brain responds to images of disgust can predict your political leanings with a phenomenal degree of accuracy
What do you value in your life? You won’t need reminding that you only have one shot at it. Miss it and it’s gone for good. In 2012, an Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, working in palliative care, wrote a moving book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. She found five repeating themes when people near the end of life talked about their life regrets.
What does 2016 hold in store for you? For many of us, we have some things we would like to do much more, and some things we’d like to do a lot less. So, maybe we would like to spend more time with our families, or keeping fit. Or on the other hand we’d like to be watching less TV, drinking more moderately, or to stop being so crazily busy.
Sadly, knowing what you want out of life is no guarantee that this is how it will be. There is often a mismatch between what we would like our lives to be like, compared to how our lives actually pan out.