Friday reads – volume 11

Power is the ability to control your own life (The Escape Artist) 

“I had always assumed power meant having status and income, influence and external rewards. Ralph had all of them. Yet up close he didn’t seem very powerful. I started asking whether power meant, rather, the ability to control my own life.”

When the money is really alluring. It becomes harder to walk away from it. But with that, it comes at a cost. Time. For yourself. Your family. And really, was that what you wanted to do in the first place?

How much money do we need to be happy? (The Business Times) 

“Nearer to the modern day, psychologists would agree that the happiest people are those with friends, family, close communities, health, fruitful and caring lives, and love. A job you enjoy is a huge factor, staying busy, helping others, and feeling recognised, appreciated and loved.”

Happiness lies in the most intrinsic of things. Wealth equates happiness? Not so much in fact.

Living With The End In Mind (Project Happiness) 

“Living with the end in mind is perhaps the fullest, most real way to live life because the only thing guaranteed to happen to each one of us is our end. At first when we read this sentence, it may not feel good – but it is the ultimate truth. Let’s read it again, slower this time – the only thing guaranteed to happen to each one of us is our end. As we feel at home with this statement, it becomes really comforting. What if we can live with the consciousness that this life in indeed finite? What if we worked our life, our mindset, our bodies around this?”

Reading this is morbid. But it really does help to put things in perspective. The end is the only guaratee. Everything else is fluid.

Success Adds Up— It Doesn’t “Happen” Overnight (Darius Foroux)

“Things add up. You learn one skill. Then another. You finish one project. Then another. Over time, your accomplishments add up to form an impressive feat.”

Some think of success as luck. Well, luck might play a factor, but definitely is not the main factor. Success is sequential, not simultaneous. Or perhaps is also consequential from our prior actions.

If Location Is an Asset, High Rent Is ‘Saving’ for the Future (CityLab) 

“So, when you choose to move to a pricier and amenity-laden city, you’re transferring resources into the future—i.e., saving!—by establishing yourself near opportunities for higher pay and human capital, Rossi-Hansberg and Bilal argue. On the flipside, when you relocate to a community with a lower cost of living but fewer economic advantages, you’re pulling resources into the present that you might have gained in the future—i.e., borrowing.”

Sounds like the argument that one could use when we try to move into neighborhoods near “branded” schools to up the chances of the kids getting into them. But anyway, the premise works in the case of networking, which is the case if you do hang out with people around the area (assuming that most of us do in this sense).

And here’s a quote to round it up…

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2 thoughts on “Friday reads – volume 11

  1. Regarding the BT article, I think many social scientists have already done numerous studies & quantified an income level roughly 50% above the median for people to be “happy”. After that, law of diminishing returns set in. Don’t forget that many of those “stuff” that the BT article mentions e.g. friends, family, close loving relationships, health etc require a certain level of wealth commensurate with the local cost of living to cultivate, nurture & maintain.

    Regarding CityLab, I find that they are rather biased towards the more expensive central / city-centre living. E.g. Including the costs of a car (or 2 cars) versus none if staying in the city centre.

    A lot also depends on what you do with the “benefits” of a better location … if someone spends most of his higher salary on lifestyle consumption or a kid who is unable / unwilling to utilize an elite school culture to maximise potential …. then basically it defeats the purpose.


    • Yes agree with what you on this. There is definitely a point where too much probably doesn’t yield the “benefits” or “happiness”, the line just plateaus off… and yes there’s probably a basic minimum that is required to at least “maintain” or achieve happiness, although the thing is that tends to differ among individuals.

      As for the CityLab article, I just like that they explore the premise of the so-called “benefits” but it ultimately depends on how you utilise it.


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