Have you ever been on a vacation where you had the most amazing time, however on the last day, you have a very bad experience? What did you remember about this vacation? Do you think it was still an amazing vacation or did you feel that it was ruined?
Daniel Kahneman describes this situation as memory self and experience self. He describes these two in relations to happiness. He illustrates the experience self as being happy in your life and the memory self as being happy about your life. According to Kahneman, the memory self is more powerful at whole than the experience self. It is to explain that what we remember of an experience matters more to us than what we really experienced during that actual situation. It is the case, the memory of the self controls our happiness and defines our stories. Endings, as he explains, are the most important moments of an experience. What we last remember of an experience is what controls our memory and our happiness of that experience. For those out there that suffered from a breakup, you must have experienced this. As a couple being in a relationship, many of us had felt pure happiness for a long period of time until something really bad happens and breaks off the relationship. You can remember all the good times, but unfortunately the ending is dominant in your mind and in turn determined how happy we were in that relationship. Daniel Kahneman presents some more examples of happiness.
It is important to keep in mind that memory is thinking about life whereas experience is actually living life. Deciding if you are happy as a person will depend on both together, but try it with your life…. which one of these two matter more to you? Moreover, Kahneman states that “happiness is mainly being satisfied with the people that we like.”
Watch this video and get more information about what determines your happiness, when you think of your life!