What We Get to Keep from Our Experiences

"There is an experiencing self, who lives in the present and knows the present, is capable of re-living the past, but basically it has only the present. It's the experiencing self that the doctor approaches -- you know, when the doctor asks, Does it hurt now when I touch you here? And then there is a remembering self, and the remembering self is the one that keeps score, and maintains the story of our life, and it's the one that the doctor approaches in asking the question, How have you been feeling lately? or How was your trip to Albania? or something like that. Those are two very different entities, the experiencing self and the remembering self and getting confused between them is part of the mess of the notion of happiness.

Now, the remembering self is a storyteller. And that really starts with a basic response of our memories -- it starts immediately. We don't only tell stories when we set out to tell stories. Our memory tells us stories, that is, what we get to keep from our experiences is a story.”

~ Daniel Kahneman, from “The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory,” TED Talks (February 2010)

[Thanks Kit!]