It’s always wise to look ahead…

…but difficult to look further than we can see, said Winston Churchill. Without a contraction, I’m sure. For me, the difficulty of looking too far doesn’t stop me trying and in doing so, losing sight of the present.

I’m enjoying reading ‘Happiness by Design‘ by Paul Dolan, who explains the role of attention economics in our everyday happiness. In essence, how much pleasure and purpose we draw from life is largely determined by where we place our attention. If we’re always looking ahead, anticipating something better, we miss what bring us joy right now. So far, so ‘be mindful’.

Paul also explains the dissonance between expectation and experience, based on the fallibility of memory as a guide and specifically the moments in memory that (consciously or not) receive our attention. What this tells me is to be wary of the frustration at not working how I want to immediately. I’m remembering self-employment overly fondly, based on the peaks. I picture continuing as an employee, based on the troughs.

Best to go about each day with patience and forbearance, recognising the pleasure I get from writing code and the purpose I serve in doing so.

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