Issue 15 — Joy maximisation
It seems I'm on a roll; my past 2 weekends have been filled with nothing other than joy, celebration & great company.
Yesterday began with an impromptu brunch with some friends, leading to a bike ride and a visit to my favourite cafe, Pauline's, followed by a festive dinner braai. Today began much the same with a breakfast invite to Mynt Cafe. Breakfast turned to lunch, and then lunch turned to dinner — a great departure from how I typically spend my Sundays. Given how much a serve at the altar of routine, why have I been so willing to abandon my plans in favour of spending time outside with friends?
First, a bit of a tangent. If you were to come into my home and my closet, your assumption would be that I'm a minimalist. That is not intentional. Above having an aversion to owning many things, I have a bias towards over-investing in experiences and items that deliver an outside amount of joy to me.
This is the same reason why I was willing to pay a premium at my previous gym, Virgin Active Silo, and why I experience zero "buyer's" remorse regardless of the high cost of renting in the Cape Town City Centre. I've found that the path to maximising joy is not by increasing how much sits in my bank account or how many garments I own, but rather how much of my money goes towards investing my joy.
This is a bit counter-intuitive in our hyperconsumerist culture where more is always more. Not only do I not subscribe to this ideology, but I also don't subscribe to its converse argument, less is more. I fall more in the middle beside the idea of, less, but better.
Instead of building a home gym or seeking out the cheapest membership, I'd rather pay 50—100% more than usual at a club where I get to use up-to-date equipment, moderns facilities, receive a complimentary towel, bottomless free fruits, shoe cleaning, clothes ironing, boardrooms and shared workspaces.
Instead of owning 30 tees in different colours and cuts or 5 "luxury" tops, I'd rather invest in 15 black crewneck tees that transition flawlessly from a casual work outfit to being paired with shorts for a vigorous gym session.
That was the decision I made today, go home and invest my time into getting ahead with work, or stay and sip mimosas until every joke sounds like it was written by Mitch Hedberg. I chose to stay because I believe we owe it to ourselves to invest all that we can into the things that bring us an outsized amount of joy.
What experience or item in your life could you be investing more time or money into?
Talk soon; be you, be great!
Yet another departure; instead of a list of links, this week I have a request. What would you like to read about/have me discuss? I have some long-form essays I am working on, and in the interest of keeping the quality and consideration unsullied, I'd like to collect some ideas you'd like for me to write about — the greater the departure from topics I usually write about, the better.