The hedonic treadmill - Deepstash
The hedonic treadmill

The hedonic treadmill

It's the constant chasing of pleasure. 

People who are constantly striving for a “better life” end up expending a ton of effort only to end up in the same place.

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Our imagined "better"

Regardless of our external circumstances, we live in a constant state of mild-but-not-fully-satisfying happiness. Things are pretty much always fine. But they could also always be better. And that's why most of us live most of our lives constantly chasing our imagined "better".

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Meaningless self improvement

When one compulsively looks to improve oneself, without any greater reason driving it other than self-aggrandizement, it leads to a life of immense self-preoccupation, a form of narcissism.

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Used in sports to explain why teams who win championships are often ultimately dethroned, not by other, better teams, but by forces from within the organization itself. The players want more: more money, more TV commercials, more playing time, more media attention, etc. As a result, what was once a cohesive group begins to fray and they end up failing.

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Human beings cannot belong anywhere instantly, and a strong community building does not have any shortcuts. People with strong social ties in a singular place live longer, healthier and happier lives.

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Goals vs. systems

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement: We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. 

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