Oh, Just Give Up—It's Good for Your Health

|

The invaluable Null Hypothesis: The Journal of Unlikely Science is reporting a new study by psychologists Gregory Miller and Carsten Wrosch which finds that

…striving to achieve our goals is not all its cracked up to be… Whilst following adolescents who had the option of achieving or abandoning a key goal, [the researchers] found that it may be better to forsake the goal in order to maintain mental and physical well being. They found that study participants who didn't abandon their goal had increased levels of the protein CRP. CRP acts as an indicator of bodily inflammation and increased inflammation has been linked with both cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

For a less lighthearted take see the abstract for the study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin here. If failure gets you down, the research also finds that if at first you don't succeed, try something else. That will distract you from your shortcomings. 

Next up, a new study finds that blogging as a way to procrastinate work on major projects results in massive health benefits.

NEXT: Than Shwe: Portraits in Political Courage

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Finally! A study that we can use to smack around over-achievers. Lousy motivated bastards.

  2. Seriously. “Excellence” be damned. I’m so glad I made the right decision by settling for adequacy.

  3. I used to think I was ambitious.

    Then it hit me – I’m ambitious. I was just afraid of not be recognized as a high achiever.

    Screw that. I’d rather be home for dinner every night. I’m much happier than I ever was as Mr. Perfect Person.

  4. Er, I’m NOT ambitious. Sorry ’bout that.

    Then again…meh.

  5. Cue Edward!

  6. Taktix?,

    Edward already has realized his goal. That’s pretty easy when your goal is to be a lying, 20-gallon douchebag.

  7. A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment. An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

    George Bernard Shaw

  8. I think this study deserves a giant “duh”

    Ok, everyone. In unison now!

  9. DUH!!!

  10. “Son, you tried, and failed. The lesson here? = Never try.”
    – Homer Simpson

  11. Dammit DangerMan! In unison he said!!!

  12. Everyday I encounter new evidence that my decision to drop out of grad school was the right one.

  13. Trying is the first step on the road to failure.

  14. Have they found a drug that will stop people from using the word “whilst”?

  15. Winners never quit and quitters never win, but those who neither quit nor win are truely idiots

    -Demotivators

  16. Cool. I’ve always said self motivation is a form of self abuse. And parental encouragement – it’s second hand hope, just as lethal as hope itself. Ban hoping in cars that contain children.

  17. If failure gets you down, the research also finds that if at first you don’t succeed, try something else. That will distract you from your shortcomings.

    I knew it.

    I know a gal that has acheived every goal she ever strived for. She’s a nervous work-a-holic, has had an eating disorder, and never has any free time. Sounds like a barrel of monkies to me.

  18. Have they found a drug that will stop people from using the word “whilst”?

    Probably not. I’m still waiting for the one that makes people stop asking “Are these they?”

    Henchman 21: Gentlemen, choose your weapons!
    Henchman 24: Is this them?
    Henchman 21: “Are these they.”
    Henchman 24: Who talks like that?!?

  19. W.C. Fields: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again…then quit. No sense being a damn fool about it.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.