Mendoza School of Business

Here’s Scientific Proof That Life Gets Better As You Get Older

Published: April 10, 2014 / Author: Carolyn Gregoire

The following is an excerpt from a Huffington Post article that quotes Management Professor Tim Judge about ambition and happiness. To read the entire article visit: Here’s Scientific Proof That Life Gets Better As You Get Older

In the game of life, is it all downhill as young adulthood turns into maturity? Our culture of youth obsession and celebration of the college years and 20s as the golden years of one’s life has led many of us to believe that our happiness declines as we age. Some (rather depressing) research has found that 80 percent of life’s defining moments occur by the age of 35 — suggesting that there may not be much to look forward to in the second half of life.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The concentration of life’s major events in adolescence and early adulthood may not be anything to feel discouraged about — and it certainly doesn’t mean that happiness and life satisfaction decline as we get older. In fact, a growing body of research has proven that we’re wrong to think that happiness is correlated with youth. A wealth of scientific and anecdotal evidence demonstrates precisely that it’s when people have surpassed many of life’s big landmarks that their overall satisfaction and happiness peaks.

“Ambition by definition causes people to raise their goals and aspirations,” Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, told CNN. “If you have the highest goals in the world you’re always going to perceive yourself as falling short. It’s like Sisyphus rolling the ball up the hill, a thirst that can’t be quenched.”


Topics: Mendoza