In my latest podcast, I talk about the gift of time, what it means to me and some recommendations for investments in time that can enrich your life and those whose lives you touch during your precious time on the planet. My dear friend and former graduate student Linda McShan allows me to muse for an hour or more from her podcast headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, and keeps us connected as we continue on our journeys, having met in 2017 and insisting on staying in touch--I love her soul.
Here are the notes from that podcast:
1. Invest in experiences
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation. We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” says Cornell Professor Dr. Gilovich, a social scientist.
In other words, having the new iPhone may put a smile on your face, or a massive shopping spree may make you excited, but the novelty will quickly fade; all those possessions won’t be exciting, they will just be normal.
Gilovich also found new purchases only lead to new expectations and not true happiness. The moment something new became ordinary, people were already moving on.
Experiences never fade to the mundane, but objects always do. Enduring happiness comes from breaking out of our everyday routine, trying something new, and traveling someplace new.
2. Buy time for what you love
Your things don’t define you. Your identity is not defined by your possessions but is actually an accumulation of the places you’ve been, lessons you’ve learned, and the experiences you’ve had. Experiences make up who you are. Experiences become part of you.
3. Invest in other people
People don’t regret not buying something, but do regret missing an experience. “FOMO”…stands for Fear of Missing Out…Possessions can always be bought later on, but experiences can never be duplicated. When you miss out on traveling or a special event, you miss out on all the stories that come with it.
Minimize regret (and expand your horizons) by investing in experience.
4. Make a plan—forge a new path
Choosing an experience comes with a degree of uncertainty. For that reason alone, many of us decide to avoid unfamiliar experiences. The worry usually is not very valid, and science finds the risk is almost always worth it.
Gilovich even found people spoke positively about the risk they took even if it didn’t go as planned.
Experiences are social, which makes them worth so much more than any object. Most of the time experiences happen with family, friends, and fellow colleagues which makes them so much more valuable. Even after the experience is over and the moment passes you’re still left with a story to tell. A memory. A meaningful human connection.