There was once a study that showed that work productivity increased in offices where the lights were dimmed.
However, after a few weeks, productivity returned to the original level.
Since the lighting didn’t seem to have a long-term impact on productivity, the lighting was returned to its original brightness. But guess what happened. Productivity went up again!
What’s going on? Is it lower lighting or higher lighting that increases productivity?
Eventually, the study revealed that it was neither low lighting nor high lighting that was causing productivity to increase. It was the CHANGE in lighting!
Change stimulates us.
This was never more apparent to me than when we moved to Baltimore after living in Florida for 9 years.
Everyone who takes a winter vacation in Florida fantasizes about how wonderful it would be to live in a warm climate. But that’s because they don’t live in a warm climate. After a few years of constant sunshine, many people feel differently.
My wife and I feel much more vibrant living in the northeast where we experience the CHANGE of seasons.
I never realized how much changes with the seasons until we moved to Baltimore. It’s not just the temperature that changes; it’s also the sounds, the colors, the feel of the ground when you walk on it, the taste of the air, and the weight of your clothes. And all those changes on the outside definitely stimulate us on the inside.
Don’t worry; this is not a pitch for you to move to Baltimore. And I have nothing against living in Florida. (What matters is not where you live; but what lives within you.) And your assignment is NOT to pray for climate changes in your area. Your assignment this week is to change your environment and immerse in that change with your spouse.
Let’s transition from the abstract to the practical. Here are some ideas for you:
• Light one room of your house with candles ONLY and spend at least 30 minutes there with your spouse. It doesn’t matter what you do. You could talk, sip coffee, play a game, or make love. But do it to candlelight.
• This idea will cost you, but if you can afford it, it’s a good one. Buy enough flowers to fill one room of your house. I mean really fill it. And pick a room you spend lots of time in; for example, your bedroom, the kitchen, or the family room.
• Buy mood music at a music store or online and play it while you’re together one night. Pick a type of music you don’t usually listen to and a type that’s truly inspiring. Stay away from pop, rock, and rap. Try sounds like Enya, Josh Groban, or classical music.
• Buy some smelling scents or strong scented candles and burn them throughout your home this week. Put them in the most frequented rooms of your house so that you and your spouse breathe new air for an entire night.
Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships and has an international reputation for saving marriages. In addition to working with couples, he teaches individuals how to single-handedly transform their marital situation.