If you like to read as much as listen, you can get a transcript of the show right here.
Do we really know what will make us happy in the future? Well, several scientists say that we don’t and with good reason. In this week’s show my fearless host Kathlyn and I explore just how accurate that might be. For us to really understand this we have to know how we choose our goals. We base most of them of course on our future selves assuming that if we do such and such right now, or not, we will be happier in the future. For example, if I don’t drink that second cup of coffee I am so desperately wanting right now, I will sleep better tonight and thus, feel happier. We believe therefore that the decisions we make right now will satisfy us as much as we think they will in the future. But, will they? There is pretty good science now that tells us probably not.
Well, how can this be? First of all, we evaluate the past and then see into the present which ultimately impacts our future. Confused yet? Keep reading. We don’t see the present that clearly due to our nature, and somewhat necessary need to use heuristics and short-cuts to make our decisions. Also, we have a tendency to fill in the blanks when it comes to our experiences. Hey, even our eyes have an actual blind spot in them and we fill in the blanks of what we’re actually seeing too. Also, we don’t interpret the past that well either. We use a process called “reweaving” in which we piece together parts of our experience to make a whole picture at the exclusion of other details. And now the future. Well, we are very imaginative but the issue here is that we tend to only imagine the good parts of a future experience and leave out the details of what might be “missing” from our potential new experience. Lastly, we also tend to imagine that we will feel the same about a future event that we are imagining as we feel about it in the moment. This is called “pre-feeling”. Well, all hope is not lost. Listen to this week’s show to find out what you can do about it. You’ll be glad that you did.