something to be desired

The hunt is sweeter than the kill. Because our imagination thrives on absence, we often don’t feel as fulfilled as we had anticipated when we finally get that object we so desired.

The risk increases depending on the emotional engagement, better yet, the lack thereof, with the actual object. It’s hard to form long-term emotional connections with things we possess. Post-purchase disappointment often kicks in hard when fantasy becomes a reality.

That’s why deferred gratification is often so rewarding. Resisting a temptation today in favor of a later (perhaps more significant) reward tomorrow.

Even though these principles are well known, they are poorly applied today. When you buy a new car, a rather significant purchase for most of us, nothing happens after signing on the dotted line. That’s basically adding fuel directly to the raging buyer’s remorse fire. After some months, you get a message from the dealership. You go to pick up your car, drive it off the lot, and that’s it. Good riddance.

Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime purchase or an ordinary commodity that gets bought all the time, leave your customer with something (extra) to be desired.

a little much

Forever running out of time. Literally. Overly self-disciplined people can be tough on themselves. Too tough even. Always pushing the envelope, trying to squeeze the lemon to the very last drop.

The feeling that coincides with running out of time is likely a result of biting off more than you can chew. Quick fix? Take smaller bites.

There are many frameworks and matrixes to organize professional work.
Take the ICE system, for instance, coined by Sean Ellis. Tasks that could accelerate growth for a company get scored. All three parameters, namely: impact, confidence, ease, are graded on a scale of zero to five. The tasks with the highest score out of fifteen are probably, from a strategic point of view, the ones to attend to first.

What about frameworks for people where business and leisure are heavily intertwined? Ideally, work can be switched on or off, at least in our minds. Still, for entrepreneurs, that’s often rather challenging to achieve.
An extra parameter is required. Joy. Does this task bring me any joy?

In an always-on world, reconsider if the task you think you have to do, is one that actually has to be done, or one that you are tricking yourself into thinking that it’s an absolute must?

For the remaining tasks, add joy to the impact confidence and ease mix for a kinder prioritization.

blue month

Having a bad day is absolutely fine. Even more than one, consecutively, is still totally acceptable.

In some cultures, entrepreneurship is more valued than others. Still, often there is this idea that, because entrepreneurs “are their own boss,” they should be happy; hence it’s not allowed for them to feel bad. Let alone suffer depression or burnout.

In entrepreneurship, as in life in general, activities are rarely pure fun. Going to an amusement park should be heaps of fun. Yet, queueing for hours to ride a rollercoaster isn’t fun at all.

Entrepreneurs are allowed to feel down and shouldn’t feel ashamed to admit it.

happiness example

It’s unsettlingly easy to fall into the comparison rabbit hole nowadays. People try their best to display the best versions of themselves on various social media sites, potentially causing us to envy them, albeit subconsciously.

I have looked up to people in my life because they seemed to have it all worked out and seemingly exuded a happy vibe. Only to find out later that those very same people were, regrettably, fundamentally unhappy.

We shouldn’t look for happiness outside ourselves, in other people, and by no means in (those people’s) possessions. To compare is to despair. Look for a wholehearted, full feeling of contentment inside.

Triple joy

Shared joy is double joy, according to a Swedish proverb. My claim is this: postponing happiness adds an extra multiplier to it. That is, for joy, you are intrinsically and consciously willing to put off.

Now it seems that the famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment has aged. In this experiment, children were given one marshmallow and were told that if they wouldn’t eat it and wait for a little while, they would get another marshmallow. Keep in mind that, as a kid, with a marshmallow underneath your nose, fifteen minutes feel like an eternity. Scientists believed that the kids who went through the effort of waiting did better in life later on.

This theory has recently been debunked. New evidence shows that the kids who wait for the marshmallow aren’t necessarily outperforming their so-called greedier counterparts.

Regardless of the ability of a (young) child to resist temptation, there is a large body of literature claiming many beneficial effects related to deferred gratification. As our world becomes increasingly frictionless, patience is a virtue that most of us lack, today maybe more so than ever before.

Good things come to those who wait. We have to be willing to wait and encourage this behavior in ourselves and children to go from double joy, to triple joy.