I’ve written previously about the ‘I.U.T.I. Syndrome’ which explains why possessions (and certain elements of our life situation) often only contribute to a short term unsustained sense of well being and happiness. Basically, once you get ‘used to’ something, the impact that it has on your sense of well being and happiness almost returns to zero.
From the living room in our home as well as our upstairs home office, we are blessed with an uninterrupted and magnificent 180 degree water view of Kogarah Bay. Liz and I have often discussed how grateful we are to be able to share this with our family and friends. We do find it interesting however, that when we really think about it, we are just as personally happy now as we were when we lived in our previous homes that didn’t have such beautiful views.
Be careful not to jump to a judgemental conclusion about this example. Research studies from Positive Psychologists like Martin Seligman and Sonja Lyubomirsky provide validation that as we become more used to our situation and possessions, they may not contribute dramatically to a long term sustainable sense of well being and happiness.
The I.U.T.I. Syndrome revisited
In this post, I want to highlight how our intentions fit into better dealing with the I.U.T.I. Syndrome.
To do this, we need to consider the morphology (or the structure) of the word Intentionomics.
Intentionomics is the combination of the two words ‘Intention’ and ‘Economics’ and as detailed in the book Intentionomics, it is the study of the economics of our intentions.
One way of defining economics is ‘the science of choice under scarcity’.
The science of choice has been well documented by Lawrence and Nohria in their excellent book ‘Driven’ where they outline the four main drivers of human choice. These are (1) The drive to Acquire; (2) The drive to Belong; (3) The drive to Learn; and (4) The drive to Defend.
Two Premises About This
My premise is this… regardless of what drives you to make your choices, a conscious anchor on your intentions as you make your choices, will give you a stronger sense of self and the impact that your intentions will have on you living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
For example, if you have a drive to acquire something, whatever that might be, stop and ask yourself “What’s my intention here – what’s my bigger WHY?” and “In what ways will acquiring this impact me and others?” and “How will this is help me and others live a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life?”
My premise is also this… even though economics might be the science of choice under scarcity, Intentionomics is the science of choosing your intention to create abundance for you and for others – and abundance is more than mere possessions or money. It is a sense of happiness, of flourishing and of prosperity.
I encourage you to think deeply about this. In what ways is the I.U.T.I Syndrome a reality in your own life? Take a moment to consider the goals you are setting, what you’re striving for, and what is ‘driving’ you to make choices now and in the future and ask yourself, to what extent am I working toward ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ (because that’s a zero sum game – you can’t really win at that) and how might you reassess your goals and choices to ensure they will truly result in you living an even more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.