Sunday’s Big Idea
Close your eyes, this lesson won't hurt a bit. Yes it will, your brain tells you.
"We are hopelessly misled when we try to recall past experiences of pain," writes Big Thinker Steven Mazie in summarizing Daniel Kahneman's work on the difference between the “experiencing self” and the “remembering self.” If a past experience was painful it can greatly impact our capacity for making rational choices when we consider similar circumstances in the present.
In today's lesson, Steven Mazie conveys his memory of running the New York City marathon and his subsequent vow to never do it again. We've all had a similar experience. So what tools do we possess to avoid the needless suffering and muted pleasure that results from these cognitive illusions?