I love learning about other people’s happiness-nudging ideas, so I’m delighted to pass along this one from my good friend Josh, who’s hit on a smart self-care strategy. Over to you, Josh…
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I wanted to share a thought experiment I’ve been trying that I think you’ll enjoy.
It started with my morning coffee.
Sometimes I clean and prepare all my coffee making paraphernalia the night before, rinsing out old grinds, filling the kettle, washing my mug, and placing the scoop in the bin of beans.
Other times I do not.
One day I realized that when I had prepared everything in advance, I was subconsciously saying things to myself like “Damn, you really set Future Josh up today,” or “Past Josh must have been a pretty good guy to think of me!”
But when I had not, I would gently chastise myself for not doing it.
Then the thought occurred to me —I wonder if I can use this to motivate myself to do things I won’t enjoy doing now, but will later appreciate having already been done?
For the past week I’ve been testing out this idea.
For example, I’ll sometimes stop what I’m doing, scan the house for a task that will make Future Josh happy, then do it, taking pleasure in the fact that I’ve set myself up for tomorrow.
The interesting thing is, I’ll often refer to “Future Josh” out loud, then get excited because I know he’ll be happy not having to do the thing I’m doing now.
And since Future Josh will be a little happier for not having to think about or do this, both current and Future Josh are happier.
It truly is a win-win.
Do you ever do anything like this?
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My thanks to Josh.
PS—When I wrote about emotional contagion last week, I began by boasting that I hadn’t had a cold all winter, then suggested I was probably tempting fate by doing so. This week? Yup, first cold for months now coming on fast and furious. Honestly, you can’t win, can you?