Magazine article Psychology Today

The Tyranny of High Expectations

Magazine article Psychology Today

The Tyranny of High Expectations

Article excerpt

CAN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS GET OUT OF HAND?

BOBBY FISCHER, Lindsay Lohan, and, some would add, Barack Obama: Youthful success casts a shadow on all that follows.The contours are sometimes mythic, sometimes tragic, but always loaded with expectation. Obama was a one-term Senator and stirring orator whose executive shortcomings, if Chuck Todd's recent biography is accurate, have contributed to many a congressional logjam. The degree to which "boy wonder" status hampers any one person is up for debate. That there are some downsides to early success is not. In "The Wunderkind Club," Lisa Birnbach, a best-selling author at the age of 21,explores the struggle to handle outsize success and attendant expectations, first and foremost one's own.

It may not be universal to excel professionally while young, but it is only human to yearn for happiness. Increasingly it seems normal to dwell on that yearning as well. We are 15 years into a century that exalts well-being the way previous eras privileged character development or religious piety. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.