Analog activities and their impact on happiness

When do I feel the happiest? I'm actually not sure 'happy' is the right word here. Maybe it's closer to 'feeling at peace', 'feeling complete', 'whole', a deep sense of 'calm and serenity'. I still choose 'happy' because there is a layer of joy, adrenaline sometimes, a genuine feeling of fulfillment.

Going back to the question itself, well, the straight-forward and instinctive answer is: playing with my kids, alone time with Mathilde, deep discussions with people -sometimes animated but not necessarily, building stuff -which might imply deep and animated talks with my co-founders, exploring outside, skateboarding, boxing, distraction-free reading -good coffee not optional. I could go on for hours. Typical example being: I hate running -the activity itself- but I would 100% put 'running with Mathilde' up there in the list of moments where I feel the happiest. I don't golf but again, I would 100% put all the mornings I spent with my grand-father 20 years ago on a golf court up there in the list. I'm not a foodie but again, well, you get the point.

Photography by Alisha Jucevic | For The Times

All of the above have one thing in common: being intensely focus on the 'right-here-right-now'. The activities themselves act as a forcing function. I realise my tendency to enjoy things that are forcing me to disconnect the mind for anything else than the present second. I invite everyone to enter a boxing ring, get punched in the face and still let her mind focus on the tasks for an upcoming meeting. Impossible. Once you're inside, your vision naturally narrows and your whole body focus. Period.

Now that I know this, the follow-up question becomes: how much space do I save on a daily basis for such time? Then, it's only a matter of discipline and priorities. The rest being literature and excuses.

And while I'm aware most of us are spending tremendous amount of time online already on a daily basis; while I can see the attraction of the whole metaverse coming to fruition; while I felt curious about the Vision Pro -and the list could definitely go on- I also believe the pendulum is also swinging in the opposite direction.

Be it via Anu's 'granny hobbies' -what a name!- or continuous uninterrupted solo walks or the hype-building behind running or the fresh L.A Chess Club - the underlying premise stays the same: disconnect to reconnect.