In Dr. Laurie Santos’s course, “The Science of Happiness,” Santos explores the following question – Is it the case that investing in time affluence could make us happier than we think? Mogilner et al. (2010) conducted a study where strangers in a cafe were asked to unscramble words related to time and money. They were measured in how they spent their time in the coffee shop, then later asked where their happiness levels fell on a scale of 1-5. It turns out that those thinking and discussing the topic of money landed on an average happiness level of 3.53, whereas those discussing time had an average happiness level of 4.17.
Those discussing time were more prone to socializing, developing new connections, and enjoying their overall stay in the cafe in a deeper capacity. As a result, their overall happiness levels increased. I recently visited a local Starbucks and was met with the warmest barista I’d chatted to in a while. He struck up a friendly conversation with my mother and I, going on to compliment our styles by saying, “You both look so fantastic!” While we were checking out, he then said, “Here. Because you are both so kind with such great fashion taste, the drinks are on me. Just listen for the name Mike.” His kindness left my mother and I even happier than we were prior to coming in, which carried throughout the remainder of the day (and honestly made the drinks taste even better.)
Think about a meaningful experience you had in a coffee shop or another social environment. Maybe the barista complimented your outfit, or vice-versa. Perhaps you had a short, yet impactful conversation with a stranger. During these experiences, our minds are more focused in the present, therefore making us more prone to indulging and savoring the moment more.
According to Killingsworth and Gilbert (2010), our minds wander 46.9% of the time. That means that when we have a task at hand, odds are our minds are ruminating on a handful of other things outside of these tasks. As someone who has a very active imagination, I can relate to mind wandering and struggling to maintain a consistent sense of focus immensely. Here’s a glimpse of the thoughts swimming inside my brain as I write this article:
“Man, that toffee chocolate from Trader Joe’s was good! Are people even going to care about this article, or is this all just a pretentious jumble of words? I need to shower soon. My eyes feel sleepy – but it’s only 8:30pm, goddammit! I’m thirsty. But I don’t feel like getting up to get a glass of water – oh wait, there’s a glass of water right next to me on my nightstand…yay.”
And the list just keeps going, and going, and going. However, mind wandering is a cognitive achievement; in other words, we can be proud that we can get out of our own heads. But the fact of the matter is whether or not this activation of our default network is making us feel as good as we think. Killingsworth and Gilbert kept this in mind during their studies, while conducting a survey with 2250 people, asking them “What are you doing? Are you thinking about what you’re currently doing?” They found that people’s minds wander 30% of the time in all activities, with the exception of intimacy (bow chicka-bow-wow). In all seriousness, the beauty here reflects our desire to be fully immersed in the present moment, and studies have shown that it is absolutely possible to achieve this.
Meditation and yoga are included in the list of healthy practices that allow us to be more present and grounded. Brewer et al. (2011) interviewed expert meditators who devoted over 10,000 hours to various meditation practices, and found that meditators experience more connectivity that lasted outside of the meditation. Through changing their default practices, results also showed an increase of focus during their daily lives. The same applies to exercising. Hillman et al. (2000) found that exercising not only contributes to physical wellbeing, but mental well-being, and the overall quality of one’s life.
Sadly, the physical benefits and stigmas surrounding exercise can greatly overshadow the immense mental, psychological benefits. I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but personally, exercising and movement has contributed greatly in my journey navigating anxiety and depression. I’m able to channel these emotions into a healthy outlet that allows me to feel through and honor them, while coming out stronger on the other side. Through investing in time affluence and healthy practices, we can actively change our default practices and habits to discover an increased quality of life.
“And so the upshot is that thinking about time and sort of investing in time affluence is going to make you happier at least in part because it’s going to make you more social. It’s going to make you realize that what you want to be doing with your time isn’t doing all the stuff you need to do to earn money. It’s just doing fun things and interacting with others.” – Dr. Laurie Santos.
My View: Who Knew Broadway and 42nd Street Ran All The Way to Boca/Delray…The Wick Theatre
Who knew 42nd Street and Broadway ran all the way down to Boca/Delray and end at The Wick Theatre and Museum Club! In an event yesterday afternoon that rivaled any Broadway Opening Night Party, Marilynn & Kimberly Wick celebrated the opening of The Wick’s 2023/2024 season with a spectacular immersive exhibition of “Dancing Feet” The Experience, 42nd Street. They also had in attendance none other than the star of the original Tony Award Winning Broadway show (42nd Street) Lee Roy Reams on the Museum Club’s Stage to add commentary, sing, and have a fun filled talk back with the audience. Lee Roy, who starred as Billy Lawlor in the 1980 production, shared many anecdotes about the musical during the video presentation, including insights about renowned choreographer Gower Champion and his untimely death on the day of the show’s Broadway opening. The legendary show went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Choreography. While Reams continued his illustrious career in musical theatre, starring in numerous Broadway shows including The Producers and La Cage Aux Folles, and at The Wick, he created a sensation with his role as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!
“The Wick is breaking new ground in both entertainment and technology by creating these immersive experiences that both entertain and educate audiences about the history of Broadway,” said Kimberly Wick, curator. “As the owners of the largest Broadway costume collection in the nation, we are thrilled to add this innovation as another way to preserve the incredible artistry of our past for generations to come.”
Last year, The Wick Costume Museum underwent a dramatic high-tech transformation, resulting in a stunning new venue, rechristened The Museum Club at The Wick. The completely renovated space thrilled guests with 360-degree immersive video experiences, historic costume displays, dining, and entertainment.
My View: No Pause In The Laughter At Menopause The Musical 2
The hysterical sequel to the smash-hit Menopause The Musical is finally here and it’s National Tour landed at the Aventura Cultural Center in Florida this week. America, get ready to cheer and laugh on a cruise through “The Change” with your beloved ladies 5 years after their chance encounter in a department store. They have nothing in common but memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex and more! This hilarious musical parody set to classic tunes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, will have you dancing in the aisles as the audience did at the performance we attended ( and has been doing since the original Menopause The Musical opened 20 years ago). If you think #1 was #1 wait till you see # 2.
My View: Maestro Steven Reineke Rehearses The New York Pops for Tonight’s Concert
The New York Pops under the baton of Maestro Steven Reineke kicks off the 2023-2024 season at Carnegie Hall tonight. The concert celebrates 21st Century Broadway. We were there as guest artists Haley Kilgore, Derek Klena, Javier Munoz and Ali Stroker rehearsed with the orchestra.
Check out the photos
My View: The Rolls Royce Of Music At Cafe Carlyle…. John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey
Henry Royce and Charles Rolls joined forces to create something that became an everlasting expression of excellence, and that’s exactly what John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey create. Their musical virtuosity, artistry, creativity, and personalities took last night’s Cafe Carlyle audience ( which included Maestro Steven Reineke of the New York Pops) on a musical journey that was smooth, elegant, and exciting. It’s their 17th year at Cafe Carlyle and here are some of my photos of a great evening. What a special birthday present for me in my __ year.
My View: Jamie deRoy….You’ve Got A Friend (s)
Jamie can sing you a song, recount a show biz story, get you tickets to one of her Broadway shows, meet you at the movies, remember a cast members name you can’t recall, or attend a memorial with you……and if you’re a really good friend you might even get a photo with her!
Birdland and Jim Caruso rolled out the Red Carpet as Jamie deRoy and friends descended at the legendary club last night. It was another great variety show packed with Jamie’s super talented famous friends on stage as well as in the audience.
Appearing in this segment of Jamie deRoy & friends were Tony Danza, Nikki M. James, Daisy Jopling, Nicolas King & Seth Sikes, and Steven Scott. Barry Kleinbort directed with musical direction by Ron Abel, Ray Marchica, drums Ritt Henn, bass.
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