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The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory
Categories: Leadership

In today’s TEDxNewYork, we discussed Daniel Kahneman’s talk about how we experience happiness differently in the moment vs. in memory. See the full talk at, excerpts below. Kahneman is the Nobel prize-winning founder of behavioral economics. I want to know: How do you live in the present, and how do you help make memories for your children? – Kathy Sandler

” …the experiencing self lives its life continuously. It has moments of experience, one after the other. And you ask: What happens to these moments? And the answer is really straightforward. They are lost forever. …the psychological present is said to be about three seconds long. Which means that, you know, in a life there, are about 600 million of them. In a month, there are about 600,000. Most of them don’t leave a trace. Most of them are completely ignored by the remembering self. And yet, some how you get the sense that they should count, that what happens during these moments of experience is our life. It’s the finite resource that we’re spending while we’re on this earth. And how to spend it, would seem to be relevant, but that is not the story that the remembering self keeps for us.”

“…Now, the remembering self does more than remember and tell stories. It is actually the one that makes decisions…We think of our future as anticipated memories.”


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