Relatively similar to last week’s readings, the findings in Chapter 4 came as a surprise to me. It was shocking and quite disappointing to read that a cheerful and optimistic person is less likely to live longer than a mature and serious person. I do wish the book included figures from their research though, because I think it would be interesting to have an idea of exactly how many of the “happy” children did not outlive their counterparts. I scored a 20 on the neuroticism self-assessment and I realize that I worry a lot about certain things, but it was comforting to read that at times, worrying is not the worst that can happen to us — and it can even be healthy. I am also interested to read more about why there are such dramatic differences between men and women, when it comes to worrying.
As for Chapter 5, catastrophizers dying at a younger age was not all that surprising to read. Learning about their unique causes of death was interesting, yet pretty sad in certain cases. Dr. Shneidman’s work was remarkable and I find it hard to believe how deeply the Terman men cared about their professional careers. I am sure these statistics apply to men today as well, which brings me to the conclusion that as important as succeeding professionally may be, health comes before anything else and although it seems like common sense, people need to be reminded of this.