It’s a different way of understanding what happiness is.
Social psychologists describe this change as a consequence of a gradual shifting from promotion motivation — seeing our goals in terms of what we can gain, or how we can end up better off, to prevention motivation — seeing our goals in terms of avoiding loss and keeping things running smoothly. Everyone, of course, has both motivations. But the relative amounts of each differ from person to person, and can shift with experience as we age.
Research from Northwestern University in the journal Psychology and Aging suggests that promotion-mindedness is most prevalent among the young, because youth is a time for focusing on your hopes for the future, what you ideally want to do — you don’t have much in the way of responsibilities, and you still believe you can do anything you set your mind to. That and you think you are immortal. This is more or less a recipe for strong promotion motivation.
As we get older, illusions of immortality vanish. … The older we get, the more we want to hang on to what we’ve already got — the things we’ve worked so hard to achieve. We also have more experience with pain and loss, having been knocked around a bit by life, and having learned a few lessons the hard way.
(Source: , via explore-blog)