The only really reliable way of predicting how we might feel is to ask other people who are now experiencing the life we imagined. Ironically we rarely do consult others about the future we are dreaming of. We all believe we are unique, special, above average and that someone else’s experience will not be like ours. I knew business people who would have shared their experience, identical to my own right now. What for, I wouldn’t have listened anyway. I am not alone in this, we all need to have the experience ourselves to believe it.
We also have this annoying psychological habit of habituation, which means that rather than deriving more pleasure from a consistent positive experience, as we adapt to it, we get less pleasure from it over time. This is why although I should be overjoyed about the health of my marriage and family, I have to continuously frighten myself by some imaginary loss to stay in touch with the joy.
The defects in our imagined future are not that different from our selective memory. We remember things in a certain way to create a reality we can live with. We remember the best view of things and the facts that will support them. Or if you are negative mostly, you construct your memory around the way you think. I often try to challenge myself to remember what actually happened, but am usually unable to separate the events from interpretation.
All of this takes me to the here and now of an un-anticipated discomfort of life being what I want, but not necessarily feeling how I thought it would… welcome to life in a human body on earth. I tried to get Dr. Gilbert to talk to me on Lunch with the Loveologist about all this, he declined, after having talked about it for the last three years. I can see how he might get all talked out about this- still I am glad to know why I keep hitting this positivity wall.