The Clocklike Regularity of Major Life Changes

Arthur C. Brooks: As uniquely uncomfortable as this feels, it isn’t so different from other life transitions. And truth be told, COVID-19 may not be the most difficult transition you are facing today. Almost every day, I hear from people who are quietly struggling much more through “ordinary” transitions, such as a divorce, the death of a loved one, or a forced retirement. Even when the transition is completely voluntary, it can be the source of intense suffering, because it involves adapting to new surroundings and changing your self-conception. If we understand transitions properly, however, we can curb our natural tendency to fight against them — a futile battle, given their inevitability. Indeed, with a shift in mindset, we can make transitions into a source of meaning and transcendence.

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