Hedonic adaptation

Hedonic adaptation

We adapt fast to changes in our lives. This trait is beneficial to us when through hard times or adapting to new surroundings, but it also means that when we achieve something that should bring great happiness (getting a new car, a new job, a new relationship) we adapt too quickly. Those new things become familiar very quickly and that amazing burst of happiness is just that, a temporary dose.

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Why reaching your goals won't make you happier

fastcompany.com

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50-10-40% formula

Only 10% of our happiness is determined by our circumstances, while 40% of our happiness is determined by our everyday thoughts and behavior and 50% of our happiness is genetically determined. So, if being happy once we achieve that major milestone only accounts for 10% of happiness, thinking you’ll be happy when you achieve that big goal just isn’t going to cut it. 

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Doses of happiness in everyday life

Building your happiness muscle means finding happiness in your daily life:

  • Take pauses to enjoy the small pleasures in life;
  • Be generous;
  • Practice gratitude;
  • Get more exercise;

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The arrival fallacy

It's our false belief that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness.

It’s the strong belief that when you accomplish something great, you’ll finally be happy.

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The Arrival Fallacy: A Psychologist Explains Why Reaching Your Goals Won't Make You Happy

medium.com

The Elusive Butterfly Called Happiness
  • Happiness is an enigma, an elusive butterfly. Different people experience this fleeting feeling in diverse ways.
  • The extrovert personality types have a stronger, more positive link towards happiness, as compared to the neurotics.
  • It is hard to pinpoint if the extrovert types are happier or the serene, placid types, who are content with little. 
  • Some people are happy with spending time alone and even self-actualization, which is considered low-intensity and 'boring' by the extroverts.

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Why ambition won't make you happy

bbc.com

Money And Happiness

The debate about how material belongings can get in the way of our happiness dates back hundreds of years:

  • The Buddha talked about a balance between asceticism and pleasure.
  • Early Christian monasticism preached spiritual transformation through simple living.
  • Philosopher Lao Tzu warned that if you chase after money, “your heart will never unclench.”

Today, the question of whether money can bring us happiness remains a subject of intense debate.

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How to spend your money for maximum happiness

popsci.com