In 2019, we’re exploring energy. How it affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We’ve hooked up with a series of experts who will set an experiment every month to help us discover a new way of managing our energy.
Throughout July & August, we’re going to be exploring an issue faced by millions of us every day, the problem of too little time. We’ll be looking at how we should be using our time so we can all have richer, happier days – sounds great right? Our expert partner for this is the super knowledgeable James Wallman, a cultural commentator, trend forecaster, and the international bestselling author of Stuffocation and Time And How To Spend It.
His latest book, Time and How To Spend It: 7 rules for richer, happier days, released in the UK in April 2019, became a no. 1 bestseller within weeks of release will be the basis for our latest Energy Experiment over the next two months.
Traditional thinking told us that success required general intelligence, or IQ. Then, from the 1990s, psychologists (Salovey and Mayer) realized that emotional intelligence, EQ, was more important and in fact essential for success.
More recently research has strongly suggested that if we want to be successful, we also need 'experience intelligence', which you could call ExQ or simply XQ. Social scientists have discovered that if we want success, we should first seek to be happy. Others have found that if we want to happy, we should spend our money on experiences rather than things. Simply put: experiences > happiness > success. And it’s this shift in focus towards how we spend our time that is driving the growth in the ‘Experience economy’.
Research from Cornell University has highlighted that this shift in behaviour isn’t a trend at all and is in fact a realization of the longevity of human happiness. Professors Thomas Gilovich and Amit Kumar of Cornell University study the relationship between wealth and happiness, and conclude that “experiential purchases, such as vacations, concerts and meals out, tend to bring consumers more enduring happiness than material purchases”.
To help us explore how we should be spending our time on enriching experiences, James has set us a challenge for the months of July & August built around his 7 rules for richer, happier days. These 7 rules create an acronym, a checklist to use when we select our experiences called STORIES. Each week we’re going to take on a different challenge from STORIES and we’ll be sharing that challenge with you all so you can join us and try them out for yourself.
Our 7 week STORIES challenge looks like this…
Week 1: S = Story… Go on a journey
Make it a pilgrimage of some sort, this can be personal, spiritual, political. It should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. There should be challenges, obstacles in the way, people who try to stop you. There should be people on your side too: people who help you, advise you, come with you.
Week 2: T = Transformation… Head towards a new goal.
Learn to cook pad thai! Then, to check it’s good and you’ve become a ‘pad Thai chef’, serve it to friends/family.
Week 3: O = Outside & Offline… Spending time outdoors is good for us. FACT.
So, let’s go wild swimming! Get out into the wilderness and swim in a lake, a river, or in the sea!
Week 4: R = Relationships… Talk to a stranger…
This could be meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen for a while or someone you’ve seen on your commute and wanted to say “hi” to. Whoever it is, say hello and spark that conversation.
Week 5: I = Intensity… Climb a mountain
Your mountain can be literal or metaphorical. Hike up a hill you’ve always wondered about. Go rock climbing or bouldering. Join a Park Run. The harder the challenge, the greater the intensity, and the more likely your activity will spark joy.
Week 6: E = Extraordinary… Do something you’ve never done before…
Go somewhere unusual, to find a view that gives you a sense of awe.
Week 7: S = Status & Significance… Do something for a neighbour.
You could go and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake with your lonely elderly neighbour, cut their grass or you could go for a walk and a chat with them. But make it something selfless.
A huge thanks to @jameswallman for putting this plan together for us. We can’t wait to get started and see the impact it has for us. You can find out more about James’ work and books on www.jameswallman.com or www.timeandhowtospendit.com and you can buy his latest book here: http://po.st/timeandhow2spend
We’ll be reporting back throughout July & August on how the challenges have been impacting our physical, emotional and mental energy. So, follow our progress and let us know how you get on too @UppingYourElvis.
And let’s all get out there and start living richer, happier days.
The Upping Your Elvis Team