People love to think humans are persuaded by facts, that we’re rational beings, willing to weight the information in front of us, and even if we don’t like the outcome, we’re willing to change our minds in the face of truth.
Most weekends, my wife and I make it a point to write out a dinner menu, spend an hour shopping, and prep for some dinners in the upcoming week.
It’s not the way we’d prefer to spend Sunday morning. It doesn’t matter. We know that having the menu ready and the food in the house is going to massively increase the chances that we will enjoy a home-cooked dinner.
Once there was a farmer whose frail old horse ran away. The farmer was unable to plow his fields without that old horse. All the people in town were concerned for the old man and his family, asking how he’d be able to handle his bad luck.
The farmer responded, “Bad Luck? Good Luck? Who knows?”
Later in the week, that horse returned with a pack of wild horses. The townspeople were excited for the old man’s fortune.
The farmer responded, “Good Luck? Bad Luck? Who knows?”
The following month was spent breaking the wild horses to work the farm and to sell. During this time, the farmer’s son fell off a horse and broke his leg.
By then everyone knew the farmer’s answer. “Bad Luck? Good Luck? Who knows?”
While the son was healing, the nation went to war. Every able-bodied male was conscripted to fight. The son with the broken leg was allowed to stay home while the neighbors’ sons went off to war.
Whatever name you give it, when you are happy your life is much better. Time disappears. Everything seems easier.
Imagine a pleasant summer morning. The world seems a bit lazier today. You hear the birds singing as you make your way to work. The sunlight warms your head. You hear your favorite song just before you arrive. Your smile is mirrored back to you by a coworker.