An update on the “marshmallow test” suggests that if we can find small pleasures on the road to long-term happiness, we’ll be more like to stay on the path.
The problem with empathy is that we tend to focus on what’s immediately in front of us, which means that we lose the opportunities to make a big difference.
Sometimes, knowledge isn’t just instrumental — it can have tremendous inherent beauty, even if it is totally useless.
We can’t predict in advance if we will succeed or fail, but we need both success and failure in order to draw lessons.
If we focus exclusively on why we are so right, so good, and so smart, then when things do go wrong, we won’t know how respond.