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December 30th, 2005 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Dec. 30th, 2005

03:27 pm - Navel-gazing is bad for you

Via Marginal Revolution

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/29/opinion/29twilson.html?ex=1293512400&en=567fc7e302d74614&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
By TIMOTHY D. WILSON
Published: December 29, 2005
Charlottesville, Va.

Jon Krause
IT'S navel gazing time again, that stretch of the year when many of us turn our attention inward and think about how we can improve the way we live our lives. But as we embark on this annual ritual of introspection, we would do well to ask ourselves a simple question: Does it really do any good?

The poet Theodore Roethke had some insight into the matter: "Self-contemplation is a curse / That makes an old confusion worse." As a psychologist who conducts research on self-knowledge and happiness, I think Roethke had a point, one that's supported by a growing body of controlled psychological studies.

Not sure how you feel about a special person in your life? Analyzing the pluses and minuses of the relationship might not be the answer.

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