Posts tagged ‘Six Month Rule’

January 2, 2011


“The nature of epiphany is that it changes the universe without moving a hair.” –Joss Wheden

180 is what the scale said when I stepped on this morning, naked, before breakfast.  It’s the beginning of a new year, a culturally fortuitous time for turning over a new leaf, turning one’s life around.  It’s a tempting time to make huge proclamations, “I am going to change my life!”

I keep thinking about the six month rule.  I’ve been reading a lot of Malcolm Gladwell lately and I can’t remember if the idea appeared in one of his books, or in David Rakoff’s Half Empty, but the theory is this:  Six months after a major life change, good or bad, a person returns to their baseline of happiness.  Whether someone wins the lottery or loses a leg, after six months they return essentially to a level of happiness or sadness that they previously existed at.  They are themselves.

Through that lens changing one’s life seems somewhat unlikely.  Sure, the glossy and dramatic things are definitely subject to change, but inner life is a little more sticky.