“Do you want to save money? Or do you want to enjoy your life?”
That’s a common question, but it’s strange. It assumes these ideas are opposites: frugality is synonymous with deprivation; spending is a proxy for enjoyment.
That premise is wrong.
Let’s stop conflating spending with happiness. Let’s stop using “savings” or “free” as a euphemism for second-tier or sucky.
Most online articles that discuss free or frugal enjoyment are poorly-thought-through listicles that offer half-baked ideas, like “go to the park” or “host a potluck.” Not only are these insufferable, they also miss the point. Behavioral change doesn’t come from a laundry list. It comes from cognitive reframing.
To facilitate this reframe, we’ve invited Yale-educated former attorney and world-renowned happiness expert Gretchen Rubin to return to our show.
Gretchen was a guest on Episode 40, when she cited research about effective habit formation. She returns with a methodical, structured look at how to derive more joy from daily experiences through heightened sensory awareness.
She draws from science, philosophy, medicine, literature and psychology to tell a layered story about how to find simple pleasures in everyday things. Her latest book, Life in Five Senses, came out on April 18 and immediately hit the New York Times bestseller list.
Timestamps as of April 2023:
10:44: Why you should visit the same place everyday
11:55: How going to the same place can change over time
16:40: Advantages of being in tune with our senses
24:07: How to deepen your sense of smell
31:00: How culture impacts senses
37:19: How does your age impact your sensory experience?
Resources: The Five Senses Quiz | Gretchen Rubin
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