In our last +1 we hopped on a treadmill with Will Smith and Smokeybot.
Today, let’s hop on a treadmill with well-being researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky.
Sonja is one of the world’s leading experts on the science of what is called “hedonic adaptation.”
Basically, hedonic adaptation is a fancy phrase for our tendency to get used to good things. The way we so easily adapt to awesome stuff is kinda like being on a treadmill. You get fired up about making $x per year or having a certain car or house or whatever then you get to that point and quickly adapt to it—now wanting the NEXT $X per year or house or car or whatever.
Then guess what?
There you are on your treadmill, working harder and harder and not going anywhere.
That’s hedonic adaptation.
On a related note, Maslow told us that getting used to our blessings is one of the most “nonevil evils” out there. It’s not an obvious evil-evil but it’s an evil thing nonetheless.
So, how do we deal with this tendency to so quickly adapt and take things for granted as we sweat and get nowhere on that happiness treadmill?
Well, first, know that this tendency exists. Know that nothing “out there” is E V E R going to make you happy. Ultimately, creating a durable sense of well-being is an inside job.
Today’s +1: Let’s step off the treadmill.
Another thing Maslow taught us is that the most actualized among us have “fresh appreciation” for the things others tend to take for granted.
Let’s appreciate the amazing things you have in your life.
How about three things/people that are awesome in your life right now? (That you might be taking for granted!)