The Atlantic

Here’s 10,000 Hours. Don’t Spend It All in One Place.

Evidence shows that hyper-specialization is not the best strategy for happiness.
Source: Jan Buchczik

How to Build a Lifeis a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness.


On October 20, 1874, in Danbury, Connecticut, a child was born who would grow up to be one of the greatest American composers of classical music. More than a half-century ahead of his time, he combined late romanticism, American folk, and avant-garde techniques in a way that revolutionized music.

On the very same day, in the same town, a child was born who would grow up to transform the business of financial planning. An actuary, successful insurance entrepreneur, and well-known financial author, he devised ingenious life-insurance products and created the modern practice of estate planning.

It was not a coincidence that the great composer and the celebrated financial innovator shared a birthday and birthplace. They were the same man: Charles Edward Ives.


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