Looking back at 'ordinary' moments can bring unexpected smile on your face
A new study has revealed that people can feel a sense of unexpected happiness by thinking about the mundane moments of their daily lives in the future.
Ting Zhang of Harvard Business School, said that generally people do not think about today's ordinary moments as experiences that are worthy of being rediscovered in the future, however, the studies showed that they are often wrong: what would be ordinary now actually becomes more extraordinary in the future and more extraordinary than people might expect.
Science has shown that people consistently make errors in trying to predict how they'll feel about something and how much they'll remember from that experience later on. Researchers speculated that these prediction errors might explain why people are keen to document the extraordinary moments in their lives through pictures, journal entries but they overlook documenting the more mundane moments, such as conversations with friends.
The research suggested that undervaluing mundane events might actually lead people to forego what would be pleasurable experiences of rediscovery.
Zhang also mentioned that the study highlighted the importance of not taking the present for granted and documenting the mundane moments of daily life to give the future selves the joy of rediscovering them.
However, this doesn't mean that people should start documenting everything they do in order to maximize pleasure.
(Posted on 04-09-2014)