MMMM: Medium Maximisation

MMMM: Mindfulness, Meditation and Mental health May- is a month of quotes, books and (sometimes unexpected) resources to reflect on, to help have a happier, more mindful life.

Regular book reviews will continue on Fridays.


Quote of the day:

“I care less about the gross national product and more about the gross national happiness.” — King of Bhutan



Resource of the day:

If any of you have done the online course on happiness and fulfilment at coursera that I linked to in an earlier post, you will have come across the idea of Medium Maximisation. It is such an important idea, that I thought I would spend a bit of time on it by itself today.

In the end, if you look at what people really want, it boils down to happiness. The other things people say want (money, fame, achievement, relationships), people want because they think it will lead to increased happiness. But sometimes people end up chasing those other things- the things in the middle (the Medium) that are meant to lead to happiness- and they chase them to the extent that they loose out on overall happiness. We all know the people who work so hard that they have no time to enjoy the money they make, and become burnt out.

If you look up Medium Maximisation, there are a lot of articles online but several require you to log into the journals- a good place to start is here.

The main point to take away from the idea of Medium Maximisation is that we need to frequently reassess why we are doing things. We need to think beyond the immediate outcomes, to the overall impact on our lives. For a job, we think about not just the day to day stress and time spent vs the money we make, but also what we plan to spend the money on (is it worth it) and the longer term impact of the job on our mental health, relationships and progress towards goals. When you spend money, think not of the money value you give for the item or experience, but the hours of your life spent. If you had the option of working for two whole days in exchange for a pair of shoes, would you do it? And at a smaller level- if you go to an all you can eat buffet- do you choose the expensive items that you like moderately, or the cheap items you like a lot? Which will actually give you more happiness for the cost?





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