my journey through the pursuit of love & happiness

long run happiness vs. short run happiness

Posted on: May 15, 2010

I am at that age where my cost benefit analysis of happiness is focused on maximizing long term performance outputs.

Lately, though, I’m wondering if I am just living in the future.

And is living in the future any way to live?

How is my focus affecting my short term happiness?

I wonder….

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have low risk aversion on short term happiness when I am unsure of future outcomes. Strange. I would expect that my risk aversion would positively increase with a higher uncertainty of return.

So can I trick myself into being unsure about future outputs in order to “live” more?

In order to fully answer this question, I feel like I need to understand why I am focusing on my long run happiness instead of short run.

Is it because I think I’m going to live a long time?

Is an underlining assumption that I am going to find ‘the one’ later on in life?

Is focusing on short run happiness or long run happiness better than the other?

To me, it seems that short run is (oviously) fleeting. I also feel like short run is more unstable. There’s not much of an investment, so there’s not much of a return. Or so I think. I know this isn’t true. I know that any investments into short run happiness can return as much, if not more, than long term investment.

Additionally,

And where are these long term investments leading me…. to the ghosts of sunk costs.

Let’s say I was laying groundwork for a good stable relationship over the past year. It is day 366 and I am looking at my happiness return. Is that right to expect returns on my happiness based on my emotional investment over the past year?

Let’s assume that I am not happy on day 366 with my investment return. Then day 1-365 is just a sunk cost. That sunk cost motherfucker.

Now, let’s assume that I am happy (or satisfied) on day 366 with my return of putting one year into the relationship. Than day 1-365 is not a sunk cost. Of course the obvious answer to this, is to keep investing until the return is no longer sufficient or greater than my perceived investment. But by investing in the long-run I am assuming an expected pay off. What if there is no pay off?

Where is all this leading? Short run, long run? Middle run?

I can only conclude that I should focus on short term happiness. Because I am never going to know when my emotional investment and time is going to bite me in the ass and become a sunk cost.

“Humans are cowards in the face of happiness.”

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"IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE ME AT MY WORST, THAN YOU DON'T DESERVE ME AT MY BEST" -marilyn monroe

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