November 14th, 2010
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes)
3. Do you value an interesting life over happy life?
New Yorkers are not known for being happy. In fact, they are known for being unhappy, and they don’t care.
On balance, New Yorkers understand that most people who are happy are complacent – they like the status quo. And people who like what they have do not do innovative things to change the world. They like the world just fine how it is. This is probably why 95% of New Yorkers voted democrat in the last presidential election. Republicans are typically happier with their lives than democrats. And most New Yorkers are maximizers, and maximizers are almost never happy.
New Yorkers think an interesting life is more important than a happy life. What you really pay for with the exorbitant cost of living and the hard lifestyle is to be surrounded by strong performers, huge ambitions, and constant need for change and innovation. To live in New York City, you have to trade happiness for this. To most New Yorkers, it’s a no-brainer. They would take that trade any day. To most people outside of New York City the trade-off is crazy.