Monday, May 18, 2015

Kids in a Candy Store - The Power of Positive Memories

Research at Cornell, San Francisco State University, and elsewhere indicates that investing in experiences produces more satisfaction in the long run than purchasing things. For example, if you climb to the top of Everest or you hike a significant portion of the Appalachian Trail, you will have the satisfaction of that accomplishment for the rest of your life. If you buy an expensive car, you’ll enjoy it for a number of years but the feeling of satisfaction from owning it may fade relatively quickly.

Fun vacations with our three children have been a big priority for me and my wife. We have been to New England, California, Texas, and many places in the Southeast U.S. The emphasis was always on fun and togetherness. We did things on a shoestring but we still had lots of great times as a family.
The Power of Positive Memories
My posse hitting the trail near Acton, CA.

Of all the vacation memories, one that stands out for my children happened in Maine while visiting one of my aunts. She has a relatively comfortable life. She took us to a candy store – the type that has walls lined with bins full of all kinds of candy. Then she told the children they could get whatever they wanted. and she didn’t set a limit. My kids were confused. They looked at me and asked, “Can we do that?” I shrugged and told them to go ahead. They were like kids in a candy store.

We had a similar experience during a stay in the Florida Keys. We saw lots of sights, snorkeled, and generally had a great time. Breakfast at a clubhouse was included with our rental. My kids’ favorite part of that vacation was going to the clubhouse in the mornings without me and my wife and eating whatever cereal they chose. They were at an age where that was very empowering.

Although my kids don’t remember what kind of candy they got in Maine or which cereal they chose in The Keys, they remember the experiences very well.

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Can you think of ways to accumulate positive memories that will give you pleasure for a long time? Leave a comment.

More articles aboout positive thinking.

What my dog taught me about optimism. 

Shaking down the highway with positive assumptions.

How to switch from negative to positive thinking.

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