January 2nd, 2012

Deranged

Month of Interesting Things, Day #2: How We Think about Happiness

Today is my youngest niece's first birthday! One year ago, today, little Willow Evalyn was born! She is such a cutie. Love that little one!

I find the field of psychology pretty interesting. In fact, I was even contemplating getting a PhD in it very recently. (I just really like the sound of someone calling me Dr. Anderson.) Anyhow, I read this awesome article about how we are bad at predicting how we will feel and adapt in certain circumstances, and it was really cool (http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~dtg/Futile_Pursuit.htm/), and it reminded me of this Ted talk I watched where people are bad at remembering how bad things are. So I'm posting that.

(And as I'm looking at the video, I realize that one of the contributing authors is actually the presenter in this video, so it makes sense that I was reminded of this from the article. Also, the article I linked is very long. It will take you a good 15-20 minutes to read it. The video is also 20 minutes long, but it is worth it, I think.)

Anyhow, I'm thinking about how this could improve the world, you know, for the four people and my mom who will read this note, and I think it is going to improve your life if you watch the video/read the article, because it makes you realize that you determine the way that you feel about certain things, and you can change your mind about them at any time. We are accountable for how we feel and our own personal happiness or sadness. We have the choice to change it, and it might seem hard/impossible, but I know it's possible. I mean, I was injured in a car accident when I was 18, told I was never going to walk or use my hands again, and I consciously made the choice to be happy, and I am, for the most part. And I'm not some crazy superhuman, or any different, really, from any other person on this planet, emotionally/psychologically. Don't think, "Well, Kim can do it because she's some sort of demigod, way different than me, and I just can't change the way I'm feeling for the better, like her." I'm going to call you on it. It's crap. You can change if you want. You have to want to, and you have to choose it, and you have to have help. I know I wouldn't be as awesome as I am now without the help of so many people in my life. They are the amazing ones. I'm just a regular person, making the best out of a not ideal situation.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory.html