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The Groucho Marx Dilemma

08/16/2014

My late mother always told me to be positive.  You can do anything you want in life, as long as you’re positive.  A positive life requires a positive mind.  A glass is always half-full, never half-empty.  Frankly, I always thought that was good advice and have tried to follow it, which is not normal for an existentialist.

However, The Wall Street Journal had a disturbing article this week about the emerging scientific consensus that negative people are actually more happy than positive people.  It seems that happiness is inversely-related to disappointment, which is the real happiness-killer.  Since negative people already expect negative outcomes, they are not disappointed.  Since positive people already expect positive outcomes, they are much more likely to be disappointed and therefore unhappy.

Groucho Marx often begged the question:  Who are you going to believe?  Me or your lying eyes?

So, who should I believe:  Mom or The Wall Street Journal ?

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