Daniel Pearce is The Dale’s Summer Student. As part of his time with us, Daniel will be contributing blog posts. His first entry, including a short bio can be found here: Campfire Songs with a Happy Throng. Here he discusses ego, gratitude and the science of happiness…
The modern age is filled with thousands of things to talk about, from pop culture to politics, so it’s unfortunate that I’ve noticed most people in North America can only find time to talk about themselves. Of course it’s important to have the confidence to be able to talk about yourself, but it’s also important to be self-aware enough of when you are doing this too much. I often find people are concerned with sharing their accomplishments or preaching their problems, but not nearly as many seem interested in other people’s accomplishments or problems. That’s a little silly, because why would someone expect others to care about their life story when they don’t care about anyone else’s?
It’s because of the human ego, and it impacts your life a lot more than you think. Being confident and being egotistical are two very different things, and the main difference is how much you care about other people as opposed to how absorbed you are in yourself. I’ve come across a lot of people in my life who have seemed unsatisfied with how things are going for them. Actually, I think just about everyone in the world feels unsatisfied at some point or another. And something I’ve noticed is that most people who are stuck in a rut only seem concerned with that fact, and pay no mind to the fact that people they know may also be in a similar situation.
It’s scientifically proven that one of the biggest sources of happiness is how much you care for the people around you. Thinking about one’s self all the time results in over analyzing of self, which is why only thinking and talking about yourself can be a bad thing. Taking an interest in the passions and lives of others around you will keep you from thinking about yourself, and other people can also teach you a lot of neat stuff you didn’t know before, even things about yourself you might not have known! I’ve attached a video below which explores this concept in greater detail, so feel free to watch it after reading. Remember that the world is full of interesting people, so then next time you feel you really need to complain about your day, instead ask someone about theirs.