“It turns out the golden years really are golden. Eye-opening new research finds the happiest Americans are the oldest, and older adults are more socially active than the stereotype of the lonely senior suggests. The two go hand-in-hand: Being social can help keep away the blues.
“The good news is that with age comes happiness,” said study author Yang Yang, a University of Chicago sociologist. “Life gets better in one’s perception as one ages.” More here.
In trying to explain these findings the study author states:
“Older people generally have learned to be more content with what they have than younger adults, Yang said.
Another aging expert explains the findings similarly:
“This is partly because older people have learned to lower their expectations and accept their achievements, said Duke University aging expert Linda George. An older person may realize “it’s fine that I was a schoolteacher and not a Nobel prize winner.”
My question: To those seeking happiness now (and doing all the things we do in order to attain it), should we lower our expectations earlier in life now? So we can be happy sooner and enjoy it longer? Stress less?
What happens to all these goals that drive us then? And us?
Or, does lowering expectations only work when you know you have run out of time?