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Book Review: Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race by Todd Buchholz

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Rush is a thought-provoking book to say the least. I really enjoyed reading it because of its insights and intuitions that are neurobiologically based. At first, I had a hard time agreeing with the author. However, the more I continued reading, the more I saw the validity of what he was postulating.

Buchholz believes that there is a connection between competition and happiness. Buchholz believes that happiness can be derived from rushing around. He says: “We feel better chasing the tails, even if we never catch. The hunt makes us happier.”

This unavoidable rat race seems to shape the economy and helps us to feel better. Stress seems to be good for us, and retiring can make us feel stupid. Also, Buchholz argues that the hardest-working people are happiest because they could go on more vacations. These are all outrageous claims. Yet, all of statements will make people want to pause and think for a few minutes to see where they fit in.

I am one of these people who absolutely loves to leave the so-called rat race behind quite often. I’m happiest in peaceful places, looking over serene waters. That is my idea of the perfect vacation. But is everyone like me? Is my preference really based more on character and personality or is everyone like me but they choose to be busy and prefer to rush all the time anyways? I don’t think that there are any clear answers to these questions.

However, if Buchholz is correct, my idea of happiness amidst tranquility is not the norm. Most people prefer to be in the middle of noisy places, competition, and where they’re always frantically rushing from point A to point B. He says we are hardwired to compete and that peace and quiet can ruin our state of mind.

Although Buchholz’s book is compelling, I can’t totally agree with it. I believe that if some people need peace to be happy, then so be it. We do need some people who will be content not to join the rat race all the time, don’t we? Are you one of them? If you’re not sure, you should read Buchholz’s book. He won’t leave you guessing after that.

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