Updated: Aug 16
So I went to the football game. It was awesome.
Thankfully, Michigan State won.
And the memories that me, my wife, and our friends created will last a lifetime.
Truthfully, in the moment, there were parts of the experience that weren't great. It was really hot, which meant 4 hours of straight sweat. We walked way too long trying to find the old college house of a friend. The drive back took really long because traffic was so bad. By the end of the night, we were exhausted and just wanted to be home.
But, we will not remember those kinds of moments (even 8 hours later, I'm having to think hard to remember the "negative" parts of the night). Instead, we remember the friends, the positive experiences, and the stadium shaking with excitement.
Happy memories from experiences get better as time goes on. The value of "stuff" decreases.
Over time, our memory plays a trick on us. And it's a trick we can take advantage of to gain more happiness.
As time goes on, our memories tend to elevate the positive parts of the experience and decrease the negative parts. Memories get better with time. They typically age well.
And because memories of good experiences age well, they continue to give us a shot of happiness every time we think of them. That's why so many people long for the "good old days." It's a positively curated memory that still provides happiness decades after it happened.
Conversely, the happiness that a product delivers to us typically declines. When we buy something new, it might provide us with a lot of joy and excitement for the first week or month. But, a year later, we've typically moved on to something else. Worse, the longer we have the product, the more evident its shortcomings become.