Harness Nostalgia’s Power to Make Life Easier

Nostalgia, a longing for the good old days, is a powerful emotion. Video games have been around long enough now to induce nostalgia in the psyches of grown men. The recent explosion in the value of old Nintendo games is proof of nostalgia’s power.

You can harness nostalgia’s power to make your life easier. In fact, if you don’t harness it, you may experience less successful and at greater cost.

Recipe for Nostalgia

Think about what makes you feel nostalgic. Think about your past. You probably still do some of the things you did back then. You might listen to the same songs. Maybe you watch Halloweentown every Halloween because it reminds you of the good old days.

Nostalgia will form based on two things; non-negative action and repetition. If there was a recipe it would look like this. Add any action, as long as it is not a negative one. Repeat the action with a degree of regularity. The positivity of the action and the degree of regularity will determine the strength of the nostalgia to come.

Brew Your Nostalgia

If you played Mario Kart 64 every day after school for three years, nostalgia for the game has probably, at some point, hit you like a blue shell.

Imagine you came home and, instead of playing games, did math homework every day after school. Math homework can be a bummer, but it is not generally negative. The ingredients are there; non-negative action and repetition. It is very likely that you would feel some nostalgia for the afternoons spent doing math.

Now imagine you threw one additional little step in there to increase the positivity of the action. Every day, you came home from school, poured some milk, and opened a pack of Oreos. Then you enjoyed the cookies and milk while you did your math homework. It’s a great recipe for nostalgia, and it increases thinking skills at the same time.

If you played Mario Kart every day after school, you will feel nostalgia for Mario Kart. If you had cookies and milk, and did math homework every day after school, you will feel nostalgia for those things.

Use Your Nostalgia for Good

Nostalgia only requires repeated, non-negative action. From that, it develops naturally with the progression of time.

Your job right now is to decide what you want to feel nostalgia for in the future. Think about what you want to do. Think about your mission in life. Maybe think about what you could do to generate income that won’t produce negative feelings.

Now start doing. If it’s not the most exciting thing in the world — if it is worth doing, it is probably difficult — add a little something positive like milk and cookies or Beethoven sonatas. Then repeat.

As time goes, you will develop nostalgia for your action. You will want to do what you are doing, even if you did not really want to at first.

Most importantly, be careful about things you are doing that will not help you achieve your goals because you can develop nostalgia for those things just as easy.

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