The “standard” blueprint for a happy life usually reads something like this: Go to college. Get a job in a big corporation that provides good benefits. Find a partner. Have children. Buy a house. Raise your children. Retire and hope to go on a cruise (before you die of a heart attack.)
Author Colin Beavan’s life was on that trajectory, but instead of feeling successful, he felt dissatisfied and guilty about the affect his pursuits were having on the earth.
“The truth is that those old approaches to happiness no longer work for us or the world, and they’re starting to break down,” he says. “A college education no longer guarantees a corporate job. Once you get a job, there is no guarantee you’ll keep it or even get health care. We can no longer maintain the illusion that any of this is successful.”