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Eduard Ezeanu
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"Among life’s cruelest truths is this one: Wonderful things are especially wonderful the first time they happen, but their wonderfulness wanes with repetition. Just compare the first and last time your child said 'Mama' or your partner said 'I love you' and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

When we have an experience - hearing a particular sonata, making love with a particular person, watching the sun set from a particular window of a particular room - on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time. Psychologists call this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage."

- Daniel Gilbert, in his brilliant book, Stumbling on Happiness.

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You may have heard before this idea that you’ll be happier if you use your money to buy experiences than if you use them to buy stuff.

It’s an idea I’ve been treating as very likely true for some years now, but this year I’ve put it to the test harder than ever before. This year I’ve spent nearly every last cent of my discretionary income on experiences: hobbies, social experiences, business events, and lots and lots of travel. About the only new stuff I’ve bought has been a few inexpensive clothing items. 

After this year-long test, I can now say with utter certainty that, in my case, buying experiences is a lot more rewarding than buying stuff. The difference is in fact staggering. The things I’ve done this year have given me amazing emotional experiences, and they will keep doing so as they continue existing in my mind as memories. A new smartphone or a cool car would have just given me a mild and fleeting dose of satisfaction.

Extrapolating, I’m pretty sure that this dynamic of purchasing choices applies not just for me, but for the vast majority of people. There is now some very reliable scientific research pointing out that, indeed, people in general obtain significantly more happiness when they buy experiences than when they buy stuff; or put another way, from doing than from having.

It’s one of the reasons why, when I look at folks who are obsessed with buying stuff but they rarely do anything new or interesting (and there are quite a few such people), I typically sigh and I can’t help but think they’ve lost their way. 

So, with this lesson learned, I know what I’ll be spending my money on in the coming year. Do you? 

First posted on my blog, here:

I’d love to see the concept of blind faith becoming perceived less as a virtue and more as a flaw. Some people say that sometimes we just need to stop looking for evidence that something is true, and just believe it. But I don’t buy it.

To have faith in something means to have the conviction that it’s accurate, that it’s true. So why in the world would anybody wanna believe with conviction that something is true in the absence of convincing evidence? Especially an idea that impacts a large part of their life. 

Evidence is not just a good way to determine what beliefs you adopt and what beliefs you discard. It is, in my mind, the only proper way. Blind faith sounds like a really good way to en up with all sorts of delusional beliefs, which lead to poor choices, which lead nowhere.

At an individual level, having blind faith is a way for people to deny truths that are emotionally hard to accept and make the world appear the way the would like it to be. It’s a cop out. And I for one would rather overcome my emotional weaknesses than fall pray to it and lose touch with pieces of reality. 

At a social level, encouraging blind faith is a way for institutions that promote absurd ideas, which are disconnected from reality, to get suck… errrr… people to accept those ideas and follow them. It’s another sneaky tactic for social control. 

Ultimately, it’s unhealthy and ineffective to believe various ideas based on blind faith. Even when I coach clients in overcoming negative and unrealistic beliefs, the aim is to replace them with realistic beliefs, not with positive but still unrealistic beliefs. I always find that if people learn to generally think rationally, that is a great path to confidence and happiness. Being delusional, no matter the direction your delusions go, doesn’t take you far. 

First posted here:

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The world has sure changed a lot. Just a couple of centuries ago, most people lived in small towns and villages, where they had a basic social life and well-defined social roles. In time, human settlements grew, and a large percentage of the population migrated to the city.

Then came newspapers, radio and TV, as well as enhanced transportation, which enabled news, goods and people to travel faster and further than ever before. And more recently, we saw the rise of the internet, mobile communication and social media, which created a whole new level of possibilities for social interaction.

I find that many people are very confused by today’s social structures and social tools. They find it difficult to build meaningful relationships in the intricate modern world. I’ve been coaching such people since 2008. Based on my experience, I’d like give you what I deem as 4 essential rules for a fulfilling social life in today’s world. Read them in this article:
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