When it comes to money, many people get into trouble because they haven’t figured out what they really enjoy. I’ve seen people buying all kinds of things that others enjoy without taking anytime to think about what is important to them personally. Just because your neighbor enjoys playing the piano doesn’t mean you will achieve the same happiness by dropping $8,000 on a nice instrument–especially if you don’t know how to play.
Sometimes it is the little things that really help make a difference in your happiness. I’m not trying to say that stuff=happiness, but it does make sense to at least think about the things you like. Here are five simple things I’ve discovered that I really enjoy–things that make me happy. Don’t buy things on my list. Think about your own list of simple things that make you happy and share in the comments.
- Lava Lamp – I enjoy watching lava lamps. I like the fact that it takes a while to warm up and get going–you have to wait to enjoy it. It is a simple, relatively inexpensive item, but it is something I enjoy. I recently set up a lava lamp with a wireless remote, so my 15-month old daughter can turn it on and off (safely) herself. It appears she likes lava lamps just as much as I do.
- Newish Socks – It is hard to beat the feeling of new socks.
- Cleanly Vacuumed Car – I guess this comes down to “I like my stuff better when my stuff is clean”. My car seems to run smoother when the floors have been vacuumed–maybe because it is lighter? I’m guessing it is just a placebo effect.
- Peanut Butter – Just in the past two years, I’ve discovered that the common thread to many foods I like is peanut butter. I can’t believe it took me about 30 years to really discover this. My moment of revelation came while eating a peanut butter hamburger in Iowa.
- Venus Fly Traps – These are amazing plants and far more entertaining than the average house plant. The only downside is it encourages me to let insects inside just to see if the plant can catch them.
So, what five simple things do you enjoy?
Thanks for the post Mark! You make a really great point. Self-reflection and evaluation are oftentimes the quickest cure to what ails us. Thinking about how we spend money vs. what makes us happy should definitely promote some change.
Nicholas Powiull says
1. Growing & Expanding (can’t be bought but it’s my number one thing I enjoy the most)
2. Sharing – I share everything I buy, it’s really no fun if others any enjoy it too… (Sharing grow too)
3. Books & Audio – I love to read and learn.
4. Gadgets – Technology is awesome to say the least! lol
Thank you for sharing your list, it’s always a pleasure to have a small look into others lives.
1. like your socks… nothing beats the feel of freshly washed sheets. Straight from the dryer to the bed.
2. I know it sounds stupid… but my roomba vacuuming my apartment three times a week, all by itself. And me just cleaning out the dust/lint. (I don’t even get “dirt” in there anymore)
Mark Shead says
@evilblender – I really like the idea of a roomba, but I have a feeling bringing one into the house would lead to all out war between our yorkie and the robotic helper.
Watching the sunset
Eating a piece of good dark chocolate
Sleeping in satin sheets – feeling the satin on my face
Reading thrillers – borrowed or 2nd hand books, so I can read and read and read
Cooking – new recipes or my favorite recipes
I had to laugh a bit at the peanut butter thing. On a more basic level, I think you’ll find the common thread among the foods you really like is high fat content, which generally translates to high calorie density. High calorie density foods bang the pleasure centers of the brain more than lower calorie density foods. It’s a drug-like effect that is built into animal nervous systems. Not that they’re good for you in large amounts, but people prefer them for that reason.
Mark Shead says
@Terry – That might be it partially, but I generally don’t like most candies. So I’ve found that simply looking for things to eat that are high in fat didn’t help me find things I like. :)
Productive Pinoy says
The peanut butter, maybe you’ll find out you are allergic with peanut after another ten years… just kidding
1) Coffee – Breve Latte
2) Reading business articles
4) Designing — rooms, house, websites, blogs (i love it but not really good at it)
5) Playing the bass guitar
I love these lists! Ok, 5 things:
Moving/motivating article or book
3 pump vanilla doppio con panna (Starbuck’s)
Great tasting glass of wine
Really good food
Stimulating discussion with someone I really like/respect
Um, can I have one more?? Running!!! That is right up there at the top of the list!!!
Rick Bellefond says
5 simple things I like
3. GPS – I get lost easily :-)
4. A shower after a long run
5. An interesting conversation