Written by Valerie Bisharat.
No pain, no gain.
Sleep can wait.
Suffer now, prosper later.
Although slightly hyperbolic, these maxims influence how many of us think about achieving success in our lives and careers. Put your head down and defer happiness in favor of enjoying yourself far later, the logic goes.
There’s good reason for this: most things worth doing are at least somewhat difficult, and require dedication. They take a toll in hours, brainpower, and sweat.
But there’s more to the story. According to a growing body of research, some of our long-held beliefs about how to prosper at work and in life are actually backwards. By expecting happiness later, science says we’re chasing our tails, and missing out on success because of it.
And burnout statistics show it. Burnout rates across industries have reached about 50 percent. That means about one in two of us feel depleted, forgetful, and even listless. Of course, when we’re feeling burned out, we can’t reach our potential. But that’s not all. In a given year, about 18 percent of American adults experience significant anxiety symptoms, and rates of depression symptoms and loneliness are at an all-time high.
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