The takeaway? Either stick to ordinary experiences, or run in circles with people whose ordinary experiences are as extraordinary as the ones you desire to have.
Some nice points from the article:
- "Extraordinary experiences are both different from and better than the experiences that most other people have, and being both alien and enviable is an unlikely recipe for popularity." (p. 1)
- "Pleasures come in two varieties: the social and the non-social...The two varieties of pleasure give rise to a pair of incompatible desires: to do what other people have not yet done and to be just like everyone else." (p. 5)
- "The present studies simply show that having extraordinary experiences can sometimes spoil our interactions with those who did not share them, and that we cannot always predict when this will happen. It is easier to imagine the rocket that will take us into space, it seems, than the people who will bring us down to earth." (p. 7)