What Is Positive Psychology and What Does It Have to Do with Temporal Scarcity?

Adiel Gorel

How Death Can Be a Motivator to Live Without Regrets

Jodi Wellman confesses to having a “mighty (and morbid-ish) mission in life”: to live without regrets, to feel alive, not to squander life away, and not take it for granted – and to help others do the same. She feels it is important for us to live life in a way as to not be stuck with a bunch of deathbed regrets. She is a professional certified coach and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology who has worked with some of the foremost researchers on happiness. Jodi joined me on The Adiel Gorel Show to speak about her motivations and the many ways she motivates others to live without regrets.

Understanding the concept of temporal scarcity.

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In psychology, the concept of Temporal Scarcity demonstrates how the value of an asset soars when it is perceived as rare or temporary. It’s a great motivator to be happy. – Jodi Wellman

Jodi shares how it was life-altering for her to lose her mother who was just in her 50s at the time. She had a lot of regrets about things she could have done but didn’t. This awakened Jodi to the fact of the transience of life and how our life on earth is finite. This is when she did her thesis on Mortality as a Motivator from the University of Pennsylvania. She admits that most of us need a bit of a kick to get moving; that it is easy for most of us to sink into inertia and complacency almost by default.

In psychology as well, there is the well-recognized concept of Temporal Scarcity, which finds that it is inherently difficult for most people to derive enjoyment from the pleasant things in life. It is only when there is an imminent end to those positive experiences that we start to take note and tend to value them more.
A study involving college students and the way they perceive their college graduation bore out the hypothesis that “thinking about an experience’s ending can enhance one’s present enjoyment of it.” This is what Jodi’s work is all about – helping people live without regrets the kind of lives that are vital, full, and joyful; the sorts of lives that don’t leave people with a bunch of regrets and wistful what-ifs.

Being alive, and how that looks different to different people.

In the course of her work, Jodi comes across many different types of people, including one woman who had a very different concept of what it is to have a happy life. Some of us tend to be vivacious, gregarious, and extroverted, and as such may have a very different concept of a joyful, fulfilling life than a shy introvert.
Jodi is mindful of this and explains how all of this is relative. A life well-lived may look very different to any two people. The important thing is to live life on one’s own terms – whether that is to have a quiet pizza night on a Friday or a swish party onboard a yacht. An astonishing life can look like anything you wish it to, as long as you’re living it the way you want to live it, she says.
To me, this makes a lot of sense in my own experience. For instance, a man like Warren Buffet enjoys the occasional visit to a McDonald’s with a Diet Coke, though he can afford pretty much any kind of meal on Earth.
Jodi points out how most people have a tough time listing 30 things that bring them happiness, and also correctly surmises that one of those things is music for me, particularly lyric-writing. Join me for this insightful and uplifting conversation with Jodi Wellman and learn to live without regrets – go here for this latest episode of The Adiel Gorel Show
Adiel Gorel

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