In New York City, you can have a $1,000 ice-cream at a restaurant called Serendipity 3. And there lies the secret to happiness. Before you dismiss it, let me make my case.
Would you get more pleasure from this $1,000 ice-cream than a regular vanilla sundae? Yes, but for a surprising reason - that extra dollop of pleasure is manufactured in our head, and it partly comes from mindfulness, a concept Buddhism has popularized.
Buddhism and a $1,000 dollar ice-cream in the same sentence? Weird, right? Let me explain.
A regular ice-cream, we may just gulp down, while thinking about some stupid office email. But for a $1,000 ice-cream, we will slowly soak it in - the aroma, texture, and flavor. We will pop a small portion into the mouth and let it sink in. There is a name for this - mindful eating.
Mindfulness makes simple experiences delightful.
In fact, if people are given a $10 wine in a $100 wine bottle, they enjoy it much more - their brain scans prove that.
When mindful, we see the color and texture in our life, and even small experiences become delightful. And that is the secret to happiness.
Next time, let us savor the daal and rice with all our senses. No point waiting for someone to charge us Rs 10,000 before we enjoy it.