What makes you smile more – remembering that awesome trip you had or when you bought your TV? If you said “that awesome trip” then you are in the majority.

Here at CIVILIAN STRONG – we believe that life is a grand adventure and we want you to live it well. So when we came across this great article by James Hamblin… which was way too long for our attention span… we decided to summarize it for you.

The Wandering Mind

Apparently, 47% of the time, your mind is wandering… even during sex. Surprise, surprise, this constant mental wandering isn’t good for you (those of us with attention deficit already knew that).

While training at Harvard, Psychologist Matthew Killingsworth built a scientific case for living in the moment.  The brain tends to spend more time wandering in worry and regret, unless it has something exciting to anticipate or to remember, such as an experience – possessions just don’t cut it.

“Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions.”

The article explains that happiness from experiences is more enduring for a few reasons:

  1. Anticipation of an experience is much stronger than for a material item.
  2. we are less likely to measure the value of our experiences by comparing them to those of others… no keeping up with the Joneses here.
  3. Most of us have a large capacity for developing a tolerance, where we stop appreciating things to which we’re constantly exposed. In other words, although the couch lasts much longer than the 1 week adventure, we don’t really appreciate the couch for long.
  4. The fleetingness of experiential purchases endears us to them. Either they’re not around long enough to become imperfect, or they are imperfect, but our memories and stories of them get sweet with time. Even a bad experience becomes a good story.
  5. People don’t like hearing about other people’s possessions, but they do like hearing about your experiences. It’s not bragging, it’s being awesome!
  6. If you have to line up, people waiting for experiences are typically in better moods than those waiting to purchase things.
  7. Finally, social interaction is one of the most important determinants of human happiness. Try getting social interaction from a new watch.


Photo Courtesy of: www.seaadventurethailand.com

Where Will You Head to Next?

So what’s the key takeawayplan some adventures right now and you will first enjoy anticipating them, second experiencing them, third remembering them, and fourth telling other people about them!

Your Next Adventure

In case your next adventure doesn’t immediately jump to mind, we have a few CIVILIAN STRONG approved adventure suggestions:

(With our appreciation, the original article by James Hamblin can be found at http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/buy-experiences/381132/?utm_source=atlfb)

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Adventurer on a mission to extract every last drop out of life! Along the way a corporate lawyer, Top Forty Under 40 Entrepreneur and CEO of multiple businesses.