Finding Joy in Simple Pleasures

with Mike Rucker

About the Episode

This week’s episode of the Growth Guide podcast features Mike Rucker. Mike is an author, father, husband, organizational psychologist, and behavioral scientist. He is a charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association as well as a member of the American Psychological Association. After nearly two decades as a strategist in product development, marketing, and technology, his focus has shifted from product launches and digital media campaigns to health and wellness thought leadership, particularly on tactics to attract and motivate healthier behaviors. He joined us today to talk about his book, ‘The Fun Habit: How the Pursuit of Joy and Wonder Can Change Your Life.’

In times like COVID-19, social behavior might become a problematic concept. Depending on whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, your social behavior gets complicated. If you are an extrovert, spending time in one place and not having the opportunity to socialize might cause pressure. If you are an introvert, lockdowns might be a good time for you. Starting the conversation, we talk about how a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic might affect the social behaviors of people.

Success always comes with a price. Sometimes you have to give up the things you love for success. That kind of sacrifice cannot be made by everybody, nor is it easy. It takes a certain amount of willpower to do that. People tend to be narrow-minded about famous people who are at a certain level of success that cannot be reached by everyone. People only see what they do or talk about how lucky they are to have that kind of life, not the fact that they have made a lot of sacrifices to build that life.

Research says that people who value time over money are the ones who tend to be happier. Having no control over how you spend your days can make you feel imprisoned. There is no debate that money is an essential fact in life, but if you have enough of it, then you don’t necessarily need more of it. In this phase of the conversation, we talk about how we can make plans that will give us more control over our time.

We remember both the most beautiful and the most disastrous things in life. It’s possible some of them used to be turning points in our lives. But we have a habit of clinging on to the bad memories of life more than the good memories. If you can be creative and find ways to reminisce about the best memories of your life, it can benefit you in a lot of ways you didn’t think about.

Topics Discussed

Social behaviors [06.54]
Social behavior is a complex concept because, when it comes to times like COVID-19, people have difficulty coping without their rhythms and routines.
Different approaches [12.43]
When you are trapped in a certain way, you have to try an approach that you are comfortable with, not what other people are comfortable with.
Happiness trap [20.17]
Mike explains the difference between anticipatory pleasure and consummatory pleasure.
Sacrifice [30.54]
There’s a certain level of sacrifice you have to make when you dream big. Not everyone has the ability to do that.
Achieving goals [37.15]
We talk about making the process of achieving goals enjoyable rather than the outcome enjoyable.
The trick [44.00]
Mike explains how anything that will alleviate boredom, traumatic pain, or discomfort could sometimes trick us into thinking we are enjoying it.
Time [50.00]
If you don't have any autonomy over how you spend your time, it creates the problem of feeling trapped.
SAVOR system [01.00.48]
Story editing, activity bundling, variable hedonics, options, and reminiscing.
Reminiscing [01.07.47]
We talk about the importance of remembering pleasant things we’ve had in the past.
Choose Your Own Adventure [01.18.50]
When you’ve reached the foundation of what makes you happy, you don’t need to fill your time with unnecessary goals.

Connect with Mike Rucker

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