Have you ever heard of “hedonic treadmills”?
We talked about them briefly a few years ago in the context of this +1 on the science of hedonic adaptation.
Basic idea: We adapt to all the “things” we get in our lives. That shiny new car isn’t so shiny a few months after we get it. Same thing with the new phone or TV or whatever.
Sonja Lyubomirksy is one of the world’s leading researchers on the subject of hedonic adaptation. In The Myths of Happiness she tells us: “Indeed, it turns out that we are prone to take for granted pretty much everything positive that happens to us. When we move into a beautiful new loft with a grand view, when we partake of plastic surgery, when we purchase a fancy new automobile or nth-generation smartphone, when we earn the corner office and a raise at work, when we become immersed in a new hobby, and even when we wed, we obtain an immediate boost of happiness from the improved situation; but the thrill only lasts for a short time. Over the coming days, weeks, and months, we find our expectations ramping upward and we begin taking our new improved circumstances for granted. We are left with ‘felicific stagnation.'”
We adapt to the hedonic pleasures in our lives. It’s like we’re on a treadmill. Moving faster and faster but not getting any further in our pursuit of true happiness.
Here’s some exciting news: THERE ARE NO EUDAIMONIC TREADMILLS.
You know what happens when we joyfully commit to using everything as fuel for our growth while living with more Wisdom + Self-Mastery + Courage + Love + Hope + Gratitude + Curiosity + Zest?
We actually get happier. 🤓
That’s Today’s +1.
Let’s step off the hedonic treadmill and make some real progress in our lives as we focus on practicing our philosophy, high fiving our inner souls and FLOURISHING.