Two Ways of Being Happy

I just listened to the Daniel Kahneman TED talk.  He talked about how our “experiencing” self and our “remembering” self might perceive happiness.  He’s quite brilliant, and I definitely need to hear his talk a few more times and read more about his work.  I’m purchasing one of his books as soon as I’m done with this post.

We live our lives through our experiences and our memory of our experiences.  You attend to different things when you are in an experiencing moment as opposed to a remembering moment.  Your sense of happiness comes from whether you choose happiness during your experience or whether you derive your happiness from the memory of your experience.  I love the distinction.  Kahneman helps clarify the difference.  You’re just going to have to watch the talk – several times – in order to process through his ideas.

I love the distinction because depending on how you derive your happiness, you can choose which to focus on.  I love that.  We tend to confuse the two and Kahneman provides us a way in which we can actually choose happiness.

Because of our functional dualism that pervades our thinking – he seemed to say or I might have interpreted what he said as we can choose one or the other.  I wonder if he would say that you can experience exponentially greater happiness if you were attentive to your experience and remembering of your experience.  Give me that Kahneman.  Tell me if that’s possible.  I don’t want just happy.  I want two ways of being happy.

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