Having Multiple Passions Is Beneficial (Research Backed)

#2 issue of Rinaldo's weekly newsletter

Hey friends,

Here’s a weekly suggestion: resolve to develop a new passion.

Maybe you have a passion in life, and you are maybe experiencing great pleasure because of it. Pursuing something you love, whether through work or at home, can bring great emotional fulfillment.

But broadening your horizons a bit — being polyamorous about passion, as one research paper put it (Schellenberg, Bailis, 2015) — can also have multiple benefits. It found that participants with two passions had greater well-being, enhanced happiness and more positive moods.

Of course it’s possible that people with two passions simply spend more time on enjoyable activities than those with one passion, but actually the researchers found having two passions was associated with greater well-being and happiness gains even when the total amount of time invested across two passions was the same as the time invested by others in one passion.

So if there’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to take up, now’s the time.

Also, bear in mind a problem with this research is its cross-sectional design (the fact it only took measures at one point in time). This means we don’t know if happier people who are more satisfied with their lives are simply more likely to have multiple passions, as opposed to multiple passions causing extra happiness.

Email extras:

Findings from around the Internet...

+ This great post defends (parts) of the self-help genre and gives tips and tricks for applying some of its wisdom. How to read self-help.

+ Hidden computational power found in the arms of neurons. The dendritic arms of some human neurons can perform logic operations that once seemed to require whole neural networks. LINK

+ Is rationality overrated? Sometimes, it’s better to be reasonable. LINK

Kindle highlight of the week:

“The greatest discovery any alien anthropologist could make about our culture is our overriding response to failure: If it didn't work last year, do it AGAIN this year (and if possible do it MORE)”

― Daniel Quinn, Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure

Have a great week!

-Rinaldo