The Exercise: Tonight and every night for the next seven days, before you go to sleep, write down three things that went well and why they went well.
In general, it turns out that happiness is fairly heritable, but there is of course more to it than that. Here we will talk about some basic nuances that will affect your happiness, and describe how the variability in your happiness is affected by external factors. Finally, trying to connect it to watches, the argument and variability is largely a function of the company you keep, and what you are exposed to most frequently.
In the last post I mentioned “self” and touched on psychological phenomena related to the self such as: everybody notices us, we are above average, and what we do make perfect sense.
Next we move on to attribution theory, which is a theory that explores how we make sense of ourselves and others, and then onto understanding how we think about other people, and what we actually like about other people.
I mentioned a week ago that I am taking a course on psychology, and so this covers some of the material from the course itself. I may end up splitting this into a few parts as there is a lot I want to cover! To me, social psychology is the most interesting field of psychology. Social psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with how we have social interactions and social thoughts, what we think of ourselves, what we think about other people, how we behave in groups, how we think about different groups, and so on. It’s just extremely interesting because these are intrinsically interesting topics – everybody is interested in themselves. It is also interesting because social psychologists have come up with some really cool findings.
A number of different random events led me to write this post. First, I saw a post on Instagram where someone was offering to introduce other watch collectors to their authorised dealer to help them land some ‘hard to get’ pieces; second, I posted a story about my friend who has been kidnapped in South Africa and received a lot of support and possible avenues to assist; finally, I am doing a course on Psychology (for fun) and this topic of kindness came up again – A few thoughts came to mind which I thought I would like to note down, since I find it fascinating why we might be inclined to be kind to one another (or not).
Is “time” a universal truth? Consider one of my favourite films, Interstellar, where Matthew McConaughey finds himself in a tesseract; this was an incredibly difficult concept to capture on film, and I think it was done really well. Effectively, this is a 4-dimensional space where the 4th dimension is time. In other words, all time is simultaneous and where we are at one particular ‘point’ in time is not a necessarily “mutually exclusive” event. As Rovelli expains it – the universe is made up of countless events – even something trivial such as a rock, is an event which takes place at a rate which we as humans cannot process!
Do you sometimes feel like you spend all your time putting out proverbial fires in your life? At the end of the day do you feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet can’t point to anything of real significance which you accomplished that day? Yes? Well then, you are probably confusing the urgent with the important!
In terms of watch purchasing decisions, people tend to have similar problems – where the ‘importance’ is replaced with ‘desire’ – since the purchase of a luxury watch is rarely important. I will talk about the Eisenhower matrix before exploring The Watch Collector’s Matrix in its application to watch purchasing decisions.
I recently watched a TED Talk entitled “The counterintuitive way to be more persuasive” – the talk was about the Dilution Effect. In this talk, organizational psychologist Niro Sivanathan discusses this cognitive quirk that weakens our strongest cases, and he reveals why brevity is the true expressway to persuasion.
I was reading this book by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein entitled “Nudge” – in the book they evaluate choices, biases and the limits of human reasoning from several perspectives. They tell stories about how they trick themselves to becoming victims of the very limitations of thought that they are describing. This is telling, because the very fact that these educated, articulate professionals can trick themselves (even though they know what is happening) demonstrates how tough it is to think clearly. We fall prey to systematic errors of judgment all the time – however, one of the ways of harnessing this issue is to help others make better decisions.
Some Friday wisdom. Opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one… in the same way that you don’t go around worrying about everyone else’s arseholes… you ought to do the same with their opinions too.