Novelty is a part of happiness that can make us uncomfortable. We know that buying something new can make us happy, but we also know that thrill is short lived. What is new becomes old, and then we have to find something else to make us happy.
The prospect of having to always be searching for the next thing is exhausting. Surely, we think, real happiness must be more sustainable than that.
Yes… and no.
Happiness is not a destination you arrive at, unpack your bags, and settle in forever. It’s an ongoing process as much as it is a mental state that must be continually cared for and maintained.
Think about relationships. A new relationship is exciting. An old relationship is comforting, but can also be boring. Most relationship experts will advise you to find a way to both appreciate the comfort and to cultivate newness.
This week’s challenge is to practice that balance.
Inject an old relationship with a little novelty. Do something new with an old friend. Share something new with your long-term partner. Discover something new about the relative you’ve known your entire life (remember having to interview your parents for projects in school?).
Make novelty and growth a part of the relationships that offer you stability and comfort.
This happiness challenge was inspired by Chapter 5 of An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness.