What I've Seen
Daniel Kahneman - The riddle of experience vs. memory
Daniel Kahneman, the author of Thinking, Fast & Slow talks about how our experiencing selves (lives in the present and only knows the present and has no voice) and our remembering selves (the one that has a voice, keeps score and maintains our life story) perceive happiness differently and how getting confused between them is part of what messes up happiness...
The Remembering self drags the experiencing self through experiences that the experiencing self doesn’t need!
The experiencing self, lives its life continuously, these moments are lost forever and its what happens in these brief moments (defined as lasting 3 seconds) that counts. Whilst with the remembering self, time has very little impact. Memory tells us the stories that we get to keep from our experiences, typically remembering the big changes or significant moments and certainly not all of the steps or moments that led to it.
He concludes that if you want to maximise your happiness of the two different selves and achieve overall satisfaction of your life, you will have to be doing very different things:
For the experiencing self its about happiness in the moment
For the Remembering self its how satisfied they are when the person thinks about their life (which doesn't tell you much about the happiness of how they are living their life)
What I’ve Read
Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness by Ingrid Fettel Lee - I absolutely love this book, which looks at how the small and sometimes insignificant things within our worlds affect our happiness. Whilst also giving practical tips on how you can arrange your home and places of work, so that with a new found consciousnesses for the triggers of joy, you can appreciate and surround yourself within environments that increase your overall happiness!
Joy - An intense momentary experience of positive emotion, one that can be recognised by certain tell-tale signs: smiling, laughing and feeling of wanting to jump up and down
Each section references back our primal instincts and origins for these joyful responses and I tend to think that once you understand this, its about working with it and seeking ways to activate those natural and primal urges.
For example... In the chapter on energy there is a big focus on the power of bright, lively colours and how It activates an ancient circuit in our brains that lights up with pleasure at the idea of finding something sweet to eat - So whilst we may avoid bright colours, particularly in our decor for safer and drab colours, our environments become less joyful spaces to live and work in. There are some small yet simple things we can all do without redecoration or renovation - for example I made some quick and easy changes straight away, like using a bright green pen, using a notebook with a bright orange cover and changing my phone's background wallpaper to a bright mix of colours.
If it sparked some interest, check out Ingrid Fettel Lee's TED talk on this subject below.
What I've Heard
I always love any opportunity to learn from the legendary Wim Hof - The Iceman! who has achieved some amazing feats whilst exposed to extreme cold: From running a full marathon barefoot and shirtless across the arctic circle in temperatures of -20 °C; and chilling out (sorry) in ice baths to hold the ice endurance record for 1 hr & 52 mins.
His method is fascinating and in this podcast he shares how his breathing techniques and cold therapy (including cold showers...) are a central part of his life, achievements and the key to a healthy life, including: increased energy, better sleep, a stronger immune systems, faster recovery and much more