I have been reading Richard Wisemanâ€™s recent book entitled, 59 Seconds. Which is a, â€œmyth-busting response to the self-help movement.â€ Well, actually I have been listening to it because I downloaded it for free from the Audible link on our Curiosity Aroused podcast. I had promised myself I would try to read more books but since my livelihood depends on me making little tiny pieces of handmade jewelry, I just can’t seem to find the time. Besides, my eyes are usually too freakinâ€™ tired by the end of the day to even look at a book. Audio books are the perfect solution. I can absorb the info and draw and paint, post to my website, run on the treadmill or even witness an epic battle of territorial Spidermen at the same time.
So I have been listening to, 59 Seconds and one of the things that stuck with me from the chapter about happiness was that Wiseman recommended experiences instead of objects when trying to cultivate happiness. In other words a trip to say, TAM8 in Las Vegas is more likely to bring long term happiness than that shiny new car your neighbor just bought. The reasoning is that material objects give you an immediate rush of happy feelings but those good feelings soon fade as the item becomes commonplace and begins to age and visually wear with time. People that place a high importance upon material objects and covet name brands quickly revert back to the mean of pre-purchase happiness when faced with no-longer new items and therefore are more likely to be unhappy and are constantly chasing that new item rush.
Experiences are compartmentalized in the brain in a completely different way. Even a bad experience on a plane ride towards a destination will fade over time while the good time you had at the destination at a dinner with say, The SGU will solidify in your mind and will most likely even become a better experience each time you remember it. Interesting and uncommon experiences will create long lasting, happy memories.
With that information in mind I have recently passed on the option of moving into a new apartment and instead have planned trips to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas and London. Iâ€™m looking forward to hitting the road and creating some long-term happy memories!
Do you have any happy memories that have stuck with you from out of town experiences? Is there somewhere special you have always wanted to go? Are you going to TAM8 this year? If so, ya wanna hang out?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.