There are ways you could be happier and you don’t know it yet. I’m not talking about obvious unattainable life improvements like having Idris Elba for a partner, or owning a villa in Tuscany. I’m talking about changes you can make in an hour, or in a few months, or next year that are unclear at first but obvious in retrospect, that simply require asking good questions (okay, and sometimes money).
Our lives can always improve in small ways that can have a huge ripple effect. Sure, we adjust quickly to improved circumstances, and studies show that our happiness level will return to what it was. But using this as a reason to never strive or improve anything is such an unimaginative Eeyore perspective because changes don’t have to be big. I’m not saying you have to get divorced, move to the sea, and become a lesbian— though I can personally vouch for it! I’m saying that when you make a change in your life that delights you, and your happiness quotient returns to what it was, relax— there are 20,000 more changes you can make that can produce delight, relief, or both.
This is design thinking. It’s making people happier and more productive through changes and iterations, and it applies EV-ER-Y-WHERE. (The term is overused and bloviated, as Natasha Jen explains in this excellent 99u talk, “Design Thinking is Bullshit“, but I’m not using it in this way.)
I’ve got two personal examples of what I mean.