Memories have a bad reputation for not being the best record-keeper of what happened.
As we experienced the worst of 2020 and 2021, we missed things that we otherwise didn’t even think much about or took for granted.
Whether it’s the office gossip, the daily commute, the hustle/bustle of normal regular working day compared to WFH.
What happened in the past gets scattered in our brain in bits and pieces that we remember.
It’s like a researcher getting a story write by joining the various parts or like bringing together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Shades of Grey
Negative memories often fade away more quickly than the positive ones.
Or maybe it’s our coping mechanism to stay positive.
People in a driving accident fear driving for a while and get cautious, however within no time their confidence comes back, and they forget what caused the accident in the first place.
On the other hand, there is that chai/coffee shop from our college days that we reminisce about even after 20 years that evokes positive memories.
So, its but obvious that the chai/coffee shop/college canteens bring back positive memories that we want to remember and on the other hand an accident has painful memories that we wish to forget.
Our current lens acts as the filter to our world view.
If you are in the middle of a deadly pandemic, of-course you bring back positive nostalgia that helps you overcome some of the pain of the isolation.
The positive memories help us trade our pain for something that we feel good about or look forward to.
The sequence of event the way they happened, and the way recall might have a link which might have manipulated the details that we don’t like.
This is most evident when people write autobiographies.
Some of the most famous and accomplished people in the world had complex lives (like most of us), however if you read their autobiographies, you will come inspired from their stories.
One is their writing skills and 2nd is what they choose to tell you about themselves.
You know the truth about yourself and what’s your story is.
That’s an assumption we make about people when we are not convinced about what they tell us.
However, it is possible that their mental model has convinced them to believe in a particular narrative about themselves and that’s what they are convinced about now.
I know hordes of investors that read Benjamin Graham and warren Buffett during the pandemic and figured that they now understand how the markets work.
They picked up theories like “Fundamental analysis” and “Good business”.
Their balloon got busted by the recent downtrend in the markets with some of those smart stories turning sour
Now whether they want to waste this accident and revel in the great show that 2020 and 21 were or wish to learn something from this purely depends upon what they think stand for.
End of the day whatever you believe you are will be tested by the reality of the day and tough times will showcase the real man in the mirror.