The best endings don’t leave us happy. Instead, they produce something richer — a rush of unexpected insight, a fleeting moment of transcendence, the possibility that by discarding what we wanted, we’ve gotten what we need. Endings offer good news and bad news about our behavior and judgment. I’ll give you the bad news first, of course — endings help us encode a lesson learned, but they can sometimes twist our memory and cloud our perception by overweighting final moments and neglecting the totality.
But endings can also be a positive force. They can help energize us to reach a goal. They can help us edit the nonessential from our lives. And they can help us elevate — not through the simple pursuit of happiness but through the more complex power of poignancy. Closings, conclusions and culminations reveal something essential about the human condition: In the end, we seek meaning.
Dan Pink, ideas.ted.com (Which should you deliver first: the good news or the bad news?, 23. januar 2018)