Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman knows a bit about happiness. And his research suggests that we’re easily confused about what will make us happy. Kahneman calls this the ‘focusing illusion,’ which leads us to overemphasize a whole series of factors that might make us happy, while ignoring the factors that really matter (watch his Big Think videos to learn more).
To encourage a longer view and a deeper focus, we humans have designed a wide range of decision processes (and, come to think if it, spiritual practices). But a first step is admitting you have a ‘focusing illusion’ problem. And, of course, the focusing challenge isn’t only in our personal lives and in our personal happiness, but in our families, our communities, and our work as cultural managers.