Not too long ago, we talked about William B. Irvine’s Guide to the Good Life in which he shares some practical tools to master “The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.”
Here’s a fun little perspective-shifting tool.
He tells us that it’s REALLY easy to take things for granted. To counter this tendency (that scientists calls Hedonic Adaptation and Maslow calls a “non-evil evil,” btw), we should consider spending some time thinking about how our ancestors lived.
He says: “We will quickly discover that we are living in what to them would have been a dream world—that we tend to take for granted things that our ancestors had to live without, including antibiotics, air conditioning, toilet paper (!), cell phones, television, windows, eyeglasses, and fresh fruit in January. Upon coming to this realization, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we aren’t our ancestors, the way our descendants will presumably someday breathe a sigh of relief that they aren’t us!”
That’s Today’s +1.
The next time you start complaining about the plumbing, think back to a time not-too-long-ago when we didn’t have toilet paper. (Alas, what did we do?! Hah. 😲 )
Air conditioning in the car not getting cool enough for you as fast as you’d like? Right. Remember that 100 years ago you would have been riding a horse. 🏇
Cell phone reception spotty? You do realize you’re talking into a piece of plastic and somehow, MAGICALLY, communicating to someone far, far away… Right? 🦄
Internet slow? Remember you have access to more wisdom and entertainment (and nonsense) than ever imaginable!
It’s easy to take things for granted.
Let’s remember we live in a DREAM WORLD!!
Practically-speaking, if you feel so inspired, take a moment and look at your current environment.
Find something technologically advanced that you may take for granted.
Maybe it’s your phone or your car or your computer or even a light bulb.
Can you see the magic in it?!
Keep that perspective nice and fresh today.
And, remember that OUR ancestors will laugh at the primitive conditions in which WE live today. 🤓