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Why Is Being an Overachiever Bad for You?

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ralphandjenny, Flickr

You may look with envy at those overachievers with the Ivy League degrees and zillion-dollar-a-year jobs, but a new study says your jealousy may be misplaced.

The new research, which looked at the impact of ambition on the lives of 700 Americans, found that people with higher educational achievement and career success have shorter life-spans — and that even when they’re alive, they aren’t as happy as other people.

Ambitious underachievers — for example, those with fancy degrees but low-prestige jobs — fared even worse. Not only did they share the mediocre happiness scores of their higher-achieving peers, but their mortality rates were much higher.

But since the study was conducted only with people born around the start of World War I, the authors noted there were some caveats, writing, “The advantage of this study -– that it followed the lives and careers of a unique sample of individuals over the better part of the 20th century –- is also a significant limitation … Thus, it is difficult to know whether the findings observed here generalize to other samples of individuals.”

In other words, kids, don’t treat this as an excuse to slack off on your homework.

[Huffington Post]

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