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The things we really want are intangible. 4 ways to focus on the intangibles for more happiness

Things that are intangible are what we really want from life.

It’s a powerful source of human happiness.

Studio 5 Relationship Contributor Dr. Matt Townsend believes that what matters most in life are the intangibles. The things we can’t see. Where having a house is a tangible, we all really long for the intangible “feeling of home.” We want the tangible of having a partner, but what we really long for is the intangible need to “be loved.”


The Space Between the Bars

Matt shared a quote by Noah Ben Shea, “It’s not the bars that hold the tiger in. It’s the space between the bars that hold the tiger in. It’s not the notes that make the music. It’s the space between the notes that make the music.”

He explained that we often get hung up on everything tangible, but what really seems to matter are the things that are in between the tangibles, the relationships, the feelings, the moods.

“Just the peace, the happiness, the joy,” he added.

The Tangible vs. Intangible Exercise

In his 30 years of speaking, Matt always asked his audience to make a list of everything that they feel is most important to have.

“At the end, I just ask them this one thing. ‘Go down the list, and I want you to mark a ‘T’ next to anything that’s tangible… and mark an ‘I’ next to anything that’s intangible. Something you can’t touch, but you feel.’”

He revealed that the overwhelming majority of what everyone wants to have is intangible.

Identifying Your Intangibles

Matt explained that there are two kinds of intangibles we want.

“We all want to receive certain intangibles… but we also have intangibles we want to leave people. We want to give.”

He encouraged us to identify our top five intangibles and then operationalize those by coming up with specific examples of things we can do to incorporate them into our everyday.

Matt offers a 10-day relationship makeover program that is truly changing lives. It’s 10 days to improve what is most important to so many people. You can find it on his website,

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