Impact Bias

Greek philosopher Epictetus: Going lame is an impediment to your leg, but not to your will.

A famous study by Northwestern University in 1978 discovered that the happiness levels of paraplegics and lottery winners were essentially the same within a year after the event occurred.

One loses their ability to walk, the other gets rich overnight. Within a year, the two were equally happy.

Why? We overestimate the impact that of extreme events will have on our lives.

This is known as the Impact Bias, because we tend to overestimate the length or intensity of happiness that major events will create.

Main takeaway: Focus on the constants in life, not on what changed.

We all die one day, there's only 24 hours in a day.

Relationships have ups and downs, health isn't guaranteed.

Watching the sunset at the beach and a stroll at the park is still nice.

Reading a good book, eating a good meal, spending time with friends and family, are all things you can still enjoy even if you go lame.

The human experience is broad and varied.