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This is a excerpt from a great article that I read on the New York Times. Enjoy!

Happiness and the Good LifeAs soon as an American baby is born, its parents enter into an implicit contractual obligation to answer any question about their hopes for their tiny offspring’s future with the words: “I don’t care, as long as he’s happy” (the mental suffix “at Harvard” must remain unspoken).

Happiness in America has become the overachiever’s ultimate trophy. A vicious trump card, it outranks professional achievement and social success, family, friendship and even love. Its invocation can deftly minimize others’ achievements (“Well, I suppose she has the perfect job and a gorgeous husband, but is she really happy?”) and take the shine off our own.

This obsessive, driven, relentless pursuit is a characteristically American struggle — the exhausting daily application of the Declaration of Independence. But at the same time this elusive MacGuffin is creating a nation of nervous wrecks. Despite being the richest nation on earth, the United States is, according to the World Health Organization, by a wide margin, also the most anxious, with nearly a third of Americans likely to suffer from an anxiety problem in their lifetime. America’s precocious levels of anxiety are not just happening in spite of the great national happiness rat race, but also perhaps, because of it.

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cartoon-meaning-of-lifeThe meaning of life is that there is meaning.

Many will say—”life is too complex, too big, too random to have meaning”. I completely understand the rational and perspective behind such a statement. This person would propose that within the grand scope of the universe life is far too complex to give one specific meaning, and that with one ultimate answer there would no longer be any mystery. With such an answer life itself and its many pursuits would end.

Nonetheless, I’d like to propose a very different perspective on the actual meaning of such a question, and why this question is even asked at all.

In order to understand the meaning of such a heavy and complex question, you must first understand and accept that no one has the answer; yet, the answer lies within everyone and everything.

Continue reading at this article’s original post. The author Arman Assadi is a friend of mine from Google who has a lot of great perspectives on many things in life. Be sure to read through and subscribe to his blog.

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