Harvard Professor of Psychology, Dan Gilbert said it best when paraphrasing a quote from the statesman Adam Smith from 1759.
“we should have preference, but when these preferences drive us too hard and too fast, because we’ve overrated the difference between the two futures, we are at risk…Longings and worries are both overblown because we can manufacture the very commodity we are chasing when we choose experience.”
They both are talking about Happiness, as “the very commodity we are chasing“.
When we attach our happiness to the future we really lose out because we CAN have the commodity of happiness NOW, without waiting for the experience to bring it!
Experience is only nice because we’ve gotten so used to, and so limited to, translating it through just five simple senses. But when you have the experience, it is NOT the sensory apparatus that has the happiness. It is only the attachment in your own thinking that brings it.
- MY Eyes don’t feel the happiness of seeing a loved one. Don’t blind people love to be with their dearest ones?
- Your EARS don’t tickle with pleasure from your favorite song. Don’t deaf people still enjoy the vibration of their favorite tune?
- Your Fingers do not feel happy when they touch your new car. You can close your eyes and touch any similar surface and your finger wouldn’t know the difference.
Give it a try, seriously. Close your eyes, slowly run your finger along the table and imagine that it is running along the smooth, shiny surface of that car you’ve been dreaming of. Enjoy and feel the smile. You just created the commodity of happiness from an Amazing New Car. You’ve been waiting, and aiming for that, and it might take another five years to get. But you just enjoyed it without having it. You just created the Happiness that 20 minutes ago you were longing for.
All the enjoyment is based on the attachment in your mind. Why not cut out the waiting, the “overblown longing or worry”, the fear, the stress of IF it will happen exactly how you hope it will? Find the feeling NOW.
We become “at risk” when we put off the commodity of happiness and give it away, put the power of having it, in someone else’s hands. We spend our whole life trying to line up all those OTHERS in order to secure the experience. No wonder we get mad, or have “longings or worries that are both overblown” when they don’t line up and give us the experience we wanted.
There’s about 7.3 trillion people in the world all chasing an experiences they want to line up perfectly. It’s easier to create it yourself, than line up the 7 trillion, or 1 billion, or 100 or even 10 in your life that “control” your happiness. That’s a lot of other people that Your’e going to have to have aligned to have the perfect Happy moment.
I wouldn’t hold my breath. Breathe and create your Happiness Now.