TIME PLANNING FOR THE HAPPIEST LIFE
VITAL TO CREATING A HAPPY LIFE!
If you don't do this well, you can't get there!
SHOPPING FOR THE HIGHER HAPPINESS VALUE ITEMS
If we have a barrel and we can get anything in the store (assume free, for now) and we have plenty of time, then what would we put in?
Those items with the most value per amount of space.
But we don't do that in life - at least not very well or very proactively.
In life, we just walk down the aisle and take whatever comes up in the order that it is sitting on the shelves. (Of course, where we start makes a difference, but very little since we can choose to move to different aisles though it may take some of our time.)
OK, it certainly does make sense to put into the barrel as much value as we can, but unfortunately many of the items in the store are not marked and some are mismarked because of the lack of knowing that some of the "shelfers" are guilty of.
Of course, it might be useful to find out who the knowledgeable "shelfers" are so that we would have better estimates of the value of an item. Those people have had a combination of learning directly and learning from experience (actual learning, not just passing time).
In life, those people are called mentors, examples, (selected) life coaches, and the like. [Actually, the life coaches may not know as much as the mentors, but they know how to counsel one to find the right aisles and how to figure out what is worth what. They don't have all the answers, but they suggest how to find and implement them. They teach you how to fish and don't just give you a fish to eat for the day and then let you starve.]
Some of the items we may choose to put in the barrel may be items that help us to produce more value, so they, too, then have value.
THE MEASURE TO USE FOR VALUE
Let's accept that all value is in terms of happiness.
ONLY SO MUCH ROOM
If I just dump into the barrel too much of anything, then I have less room for other things that could make me happier per amount of space. If I go too much for money, beyond what it takes to be happy, then I will be closing out time I could spend to do what makes me happier.
AT SOME POINT, VALUE DECLINES
And, let's assume that I am knowledgeable enough already to know that filling the barrel only with packages of cheese, even though one packet of cheese is quite pleasing, will "get old" real quick. In other words, I will know that my payoff will begin to decline at some point - each extra packages will produce less and less pleasure per package. [This means I am aware of the Law Of Diminishing Returns.]
THE COST OF A LOST OPPORTUNITY
And, of course, while I am consuming cheese, I cannot be consuming something else that is perhaps more pleasurable (has more value units in it, per bite). This is what is called "opportunity cost": while I am engaging in one opportunity this pushes out the possibility of engaging in another opportunity. Essentially, the choice of one item "costs" me losing the other opportunity's benefit. Surely, I do not want to spend one hour getting 5 units of value when I could choose another opportunity that gets me 20 units of value - I get 5 units at the cost of not getting 20 units - a bad tradeoff.
But so many of us do that. Alot of it, of course, is because we are not aware of 'what things are worth what' (and we misvalue alot of it, too) or even that there are other things that we might even consider.
So, to do all of this very well, we must use up some of our space learning what the value of the alternatives are and learning which items of value exist. The payoff for this time is immense, for it squeezes out alot of bad choices. Of course, this has diminishing returns, but the value of that time is still worth more than the other options for our time.
WHEN TO STOP
We badly misestimate when to stop learning.
Should we quit learning when we're 7? Of course not. That is obvious. How about 14? Of course not. How about 25? Well, maybe not. Nevertheless there are many people who choose not to continue learning what is of value and/or how to harvest that value. They mostly quit, except for little dilettante-like spurts, pretty much when they finish their formal education. In other words, they only learn as long as they are forced to or have some structure that causes them to persist in the education process.
But the problem, as most of us know, is that they don't teach "life" in formal education. They teach some basic skills (readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmatic) you could use to harvest the knowledge about life, but not life itself. That part is up to us. And we let ourselves down badly.
How do I know that we let ourselves down badly?
THE ULTIMATE TEST OF WHETHER WE'VE GONE FAR ENOUGH
The test of all effectiveness in life is based on the effects (results) in life that we cause and experience.
If we achieve little in skills in earning power, we must work harder for each dollar and we may lose pride and satisfaction and not have more time available (left over) to get value from life (fulfilling activities, good leisure, learning, etc.).
But some people assume that (or act as if) what we know now is pretty much fixed or that they already know enough.
But we know that they don't know enough because we see the results. And it is important that they see their results clearly or they will not learn what is needed - then they'll just 'go along with the drift of life' and live the life of a gradually boiling frog.
And the idea that people are "permanently in a fixed position" in life is absurd, especially in learning and in skill development. (In fact, it is absurd.) If they were in a coma, that might be true. But, otherwise, they have basic brain functioning plus time, so they can change their knowledge to a higher level of usefulness, just as they have done after they were 7 years old.
Whether it is "earning power" or "life happiness producing power", we are not fixed in one position, since we have the ability to learn.
Of course, we do not want to make ourselves or another person "uncomfortable", since we want to let them know we love them or like them as they are. But we don't realize that we've got it wrong. Loving or caring for someone is, yes, caring that they are happy, but it is also acting in a way that helps (or at least does not harm) the other person. It is far more empowering to express appreciation and love (or liking) to a person and to not be blind to the potential of what they could achieve. Essentially, we improperly evaluate the tradeoffs for ourselves or the other person by assuming the uncomfortability of spending time and effort is greater than the benefit produced by that effort. And we make the huge mistake of stopping way too soon because we think the cost is greater than the benefit - quite a sophomoric and naive judgment.
HARMING THROUGH ENABLING EARLY STOPPING
One key here is that we assume a person is limited and then we accept that. Accepting is fine, but "enabling" is harmful. "Enabling" is reinforcing that someone cannot do better and/or is a victim of limitations and circumstances - which reinforces their tendency to believe that of themselves. Not good! We are doing damage to another by enabling such behavior, such that people's energies are not used to produce the greatest happiness effect (either directly or through something that adds happiness).
YOU WON'T STOP TOO SOON IF YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS
If we use the testing, we can see where one is relative to where one should be.