my friend Charles Sommer, CEO of DoubleAgent, did a survey on his site of a bunch of women asking them how long a guy should wait to call them back. and the average time was, not surprisingly, 3 days.
but Charles then did a second-order analysis by age … and found that the time to wait was inversely proportional with age. 20 year old women wanted a guy to wait 9 days … 40 year old women were about 9 hours.
Random fact: according to the Census Bureau, in 2005 17.2% of households earned over $100,000
Everyone knows that parents can affect their child’s happiness. A loving upbringing is more likely to yield a happy person.
However, there is another way parents can affect happiness: by expectation setting. Most people compare themselves to others. And it is only human to compare yourself to your parents. My theory is that people who surpass their parents tend to be much happier than people who don’t. If that is true, it is good news and bad news for my generation (Generation X).
The bad news is that our parents (baby boomers) may be the richest generation in US history that will ever be. They were born at a time when the U.S. had 50% of the world GDP (now it is 22%) and lived in a time when things kept getting better economically. They are now consolidating these gains and hurting future generations by continuing to push govt debt and piling on future IOUs (with Medicare, social security, and deficits). So it is unlikely that Generation X will surpass boomers economically. But if you are one of those people that do surpass your parents (and there are a sizable number of us), you’ll likely be very happy (especially since many other people do not) … and this is especially true if you surpass your parents at a young age.
The good news is that selfish side of the boomer generation was really bad for their family life. Almost 50% of married boomers got divorced at least once. That’s a staggering statistic. It will be extremely hard for Generation Xers to have a worse divorce rate. More likely is that our generation will have, on the whole, more meaningful family lives and exceed our parents in this way.
Next time when you see someone who is very happy or very sad, look to see if they have surpassed their parents or not. And while one can argue cause and effect relationships, you’ll find often that this parental happiness theory holds true quite often.
Peter Thiel, Rapleaf’s biggest investor, made an interesting remark to me the other day that 4 of the 6 founders of PayPal had built bombs while in high school (and Peter was not one of them).
that is an amazing stat.
at the Founders Brunch yesterday i polled some of the top entrepreneurs and found that quite a few of them had also built bombs while in high school.
which concerned me because i was never adventurous to build a bomb (my only street cred is playing Dungeon and Dragons) …
I was at a dinner recently and talked to a very accomplished woman who, like many intelligent people I know, was pessimistic about the future. In fact, when we took a poll of people at dinner on who was “very optimistic,” “optimistic,” “pessimistic,” or “very pessimistic,” I was the only one who was “very optimistic” (am I just deluding myself???).
And she mentioned that because she was so pessimistic about the future, her and her husband decided not to have kids. They did not feel right about bringing kids into this world.
That comment really made me think. I had never heard of that. Do you know other people that feel that way??
I did an analysis of the people I know and I know more people born on Sept 18 then any other day. I know exactly 15 people born than day. And I am sure I know more (when you consider that I only know the birthdays of about a 1/4 of the people I know).
For instance, I only know 5 people born on Nov 14 (nine months from Valentine’s day).
A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong
I started this book with great excitement. it was sent to me by Patrick McKenna and he has been raving about it for months. Usually patrick and I have similar taste in books, articles, etc.
i liked this book … which describes different myths, religions, etc since beginning of humankind. but i never really got into it. it is a tough read (though not overly academic) even though the information is pretty interested.
summation: a good book. not a great book. but a very short book so it might be worth reading.