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When we obtain our desires, needs and wants, we quickly get accustomed to it, taking those shiny toys for granted, and easily getting bored with them. We mistakenly look for happiness in this hedonic adaptation, a thirst that never gets quenched.
Short bursts of happiness that diminish after a week don't represent real happiness.
We have, since the beginning, a wrong formula implanted in our minds about the pursuit of happiness. We think if we do amazing work, attain big success, then we will be happy eventually.
The reality is that new goals are constantly on the horizon, and our so-called happiness keeps getting pushed further and further away. This leads to a feeling of emptiness, not happiness or contentment when a goal is fulfilled.
The real formula for success is to be happy first. If you are happy, and your work is great as a result, excellence is assured, which leads to success.
A happy person gravitates towards positivity, intelligence, creativity and better energy, and success then has no choice but to be associated with the person.
A famous study chronicling the life of the lucky lottery winners had a startling lesson: Within one year, all of the lucky people reported the same level of happiness as before they had the windfall, with many coming off worse than before.
On the other end, many people who have had tragic disabilities in life, end up normalizing the same and returning to the original level of happiness within one year. Extreme events, negative or positive, do not permanently change our level of happiness.
Imagining possible negative scenarios vividly provides us with an alternate life which is unbearable. By consciously thinking about losing what we have, we start to appreciate and be grateful for all that is bought by us or is gifted to us, like a loving family, or the car we drive.
By thinking negatively, we push the arrow backwards on the bow, providing it strength to move forward towards positivity at a greater velocity.
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It explains our tendency as human beings to chase happiness, only to return back to our original emotional baseline after getting what we want.
We run on a hedonic treadmill...
"Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak."
... also referred to as hedonic treadmill, is defined as "the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or...
Critics view the hedonic adaptation tendency as a generalization that fails to take potentially shifting factors into account.
Economists used to believe that people will always choose the option that maximizes their well-being. But people act against their rational self-interest all the time.
This bias addresses why we do unimportant tasks we think are time-sensitive over tasks that are not time-sensitive, even if the non-time-sensitive tasks provide greater rewards.
How to overcome this bias:
This effect describes our tendency to remember incomplete or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. Each unfinished task takes up some of your attention, splitting your focus. It also interferes with your sleep.
What you can do about it: