Friday, August 31, 2007

The Power of Compounding Interests

Don't worry, I'm not going to pretend to know about finances. I was recently thinking about why certain things I do are always fun. Not only that, but they seem to get better each time they happen. Each year I say that Summer Camp was better than the year before, or the hockey trip was somehow more fun, or Men's Group is getting better, or I love my wife even more now than the day we got married.

So here's what I've come up with (which I'm sure someone else has discovered and said more clearly, so I apologize in advance for what is sure to be rudimentary psychology). Say you have the best day of your life while you're surfing in southern California. The next time you go out there, it reminds you of how awesome that first day was and you have a similar awesome day. But this time, it seems even better because it reminds you of the awesomeness of the previous day and is combined with the present day's awesomeness. This feeling gets compounded every time you go surfing and just keeps getting better and better.

Another interesting thing is that the same feelings work with people. I had awesome friends growing up. I was really attached to these guys and when I met their grandparents, I seriously felt like they were my own. So then I liked the grandparents more, which made me like my friends more and it all just kept growing on itself, especially when mixed in with the awesome times we were having. One thing would remind me of the other (even if subconsciously) and I'd just be happy being around them.

The point of all this is that next week's season opener for the Colts is going to be amazing.


jonathan said...

I think what you are describing is a severe case of what doctors are calling the 'sunny disposition'. This condition has several serious side effects, most notable being: happiness, joy, laughter, smiling, saying "dude, that's awesome" a lot, and "man I can't wait"; while others with this condition may experience an incontrolable urge to be thankful, combined with a general appreciation for life and a contagiously positive attitude in most situations.

Not everyone suffers from this condition, and you may want to consult a doctor if it persists.

Good luck, man.

Go Colts!

Christopher McCulloh said...

This is interesting. I think you are correct. Just about every day I wake up and love my wife more than the day before.

This is in direct opposition to the law of diminishing returns (which I know very very little about, and am probably mis-understanding) which basically can be used to explain why the best bite of a candy bar is the first bite. And why (if you ate that many) the fourth candy bar would never be as good as the first. Or why the first time I had a sip of soda when my brother let me taste his Doctor Pepper after a little league game when I was four I was blown away by how good it was, but now could care less (or more... but I couldn't yet say I couldn't care less I guess).

Anyways, it seems that with things that God makes, they only get better (Women, Hiking, Beer, Poker), but things that man makes only get worse (McDonalds, Microsoft, Angelina Joli). Ok so maybe that's not true, because I guess video games keep getting better... maybe... I mean you could argue they will never be as fun as original Super Mario Bros.

Dang... I have a lot to ponder now... Go Colts!

Christopher McCulloh said...

I just have to say that I think it is funny that neither of us having seen the others response (I clicked reply before anyone had responded, but took way longer to respond than he did), Jonathan and I both ended our replies with "Go Colts!"

Go Colts!

jonathan said...

Great minds think alike, Chris.

Go Horse!

Ange said...

Well, I have always been a Colts fan and followed the game with enthusiasm.... However, never has the choice of church or football ever been as difficult as this year.

Stinking time difference!

Go Colts!

B said...

I feel so bad for you Ange, seriously. Hang in there. God will understand if you skip church every once in a while. Worst case scenario you go to hell. (If that's the scenario, then I'll be damned)

I've always thought about this a little differently, more along the lines of the "diminishing returns" thing. It seems like the more and more you do something, the more it loses its luster. It also seems like the more time you wait in between doing things, the more it gains its luster.

This is counter-intuitive because you want to do fun things more and more, and you want to wait less and less time in between each thing.

That being said, you've inspired me with your observation to combine the two theories. Kind of like John Nash did in A Beautiful Mind when he combined the group theories in the bar and figured out Governing Dynamics. What I'm saying is, the more and more you do something, with the maximum appropriate amount of time in between each thing, the better it gets.

Men's group once a year: too seldom; once a day: too frequent.

I think I just found a really complicated way of explaining something that we all already knew. There goes 15 minutes I'll never get back.

Ange said...

Thanks Brian:)... I have come to terms that skipping once in awhile is okay in my book. However, I wonder if God will have mercy on the fact that not only am I skipping church but we are heading to the local sports bar in order to view the game.. and if you are going to sit there for 3 hours, well, ya gotta take advantage of those drink specials or else the waitress and the other out of towners waiting to be seated give you dirty looks. Dangit... I'm screwed!