Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel-prize winning psychologist, has a theory about happiness that he calls “focusing illusion.” Kahneman suggests that people draw the wrong conclusions and often make flawed decisions, by giving too much weight to what we imagine will bring us sustained happiness, like having more money, moving to California, and perhaps you could add to this, living with a mate. (I take issue with him about California, because it really is that great.) I’m drawn to his point of view, which if I were to reduce to the barest of bones, is about finding real pleasure in the moment, as opposed to an unreliable construct. But don’t take my word for it. He’s got proof.
Illustration by Christoph Niemann