Those Fake Rewards

JokerLife is great. One cannot state it often enough.
There are a lot of big events that are worth celebrating. A raise, weddings, birthdays, new car, new family member, new degree, new job, found your keys, ah…yes.
But on a daily basis it is the small things that make you smile. At least I hope so.
I like drinking coffee, sunshine, a nice smile, an empty parking lot, the smell of new books, getting some crooked art from my kids, a completed project, the list goes on.

So do you know what is the difference between a good day and a so-so day? It’s is not that those little things don’t happen, you just don’t notice them.

You can drink your coffee while typing an email or you can enjoy your coffee while having a five-minute break.
You can squint your eyes while you rush from the office to your car or you can look up and enjoy the weather. Well, okay I live in California and around here you better enjoy the sunshine rather than to fret about the heat. But you can rush through all your emails or you can get rid of useless newsletters and have time to write a friend.
Then maybe you might even get a nice email back, that puts another smile on your face?

Obviously happiness or well-being has a lot to do with the choices we make.

That is where those fake rewards come in. Getting an email is such a fake reward. We like to get things, even if they are just virtual. That is why it seems that we are drawn to our real and virtual mailboxes, even when we are not expecting something particularly great.

The best is, my iPhone has so much more to offer than emails. That is why I check it every time I have to wait for more than 2 seconds. I listen to music or podcasts whenever I am walking or jogging. Other people seem to do all their phone calls during grocery shopping. So efficient. We don’t have time to waste. Isn’t that great?

No, it is not. At least not always. Smartphones have given us the possibility to be connected wherever we want. As a result have we given up on the opportunity to connect with our immediate surroundings. We may check the news across the globe but are too occupied to have a talk with the guy in front of us. So what is the reward?

The cellphone is just one example where we readily give up control in exchange for something that puts us into a reactive, passive position because of a fake reward. Using credit cards is another example.

While being forced into a reactive position goes with being unsatisfied, being in control in contrast makes us happy.

So of course listening to music while walking or checking the mail while waiting is nothing bad, as long as we are conscious about it.

That is why I dare you to keep your phone in the pocket the next time you are waiting in line.

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This is Quick Tip 33
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc