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The Disease of More

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Disease of More

The Disease of More

https://markmanson.net/disease-of-more

markmanson.net

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Key Ideas

Disease of More

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.

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".

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.

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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External Improvement vs. Self-Improvement
  • External improvement: Money, fitness, credentials, status, friends, etc. 
  • Self-improvement: Habits, thought patterns, confidence, beliefs, learned skills and behavio...
External improvement...
... that doesn't arise from self-improvement is from circumstances or factors outside your control. Winning the lottery may be great, but if you’re broke right now, that’s not a strategy to bank on. Instead you need to start by changing your own behaviors, skills and habits.
Life Strategy
Your total life strategy is a collection of every habit, behavior and thought pattern, conscious and unconscious, that you use to solve the problems you have in life, meet your needs and stay alive. 

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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 thi...

Goal setting and survivorship bias

We concentrate on the people who end up winning 🥇 —the survivors—and mistakenly assume that ambitious goals led to their success while overlooking all of the people who had the same objective but didn’t succeed.

Goals restrict your happiness

The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.” The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone.

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The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:
The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:
  • Defer judgment (don’t get upset when people say bad ideas).
  • Reach for quantity (come up with as many ideas as possible).
Obstacles to an effective brainstorming:
  • Fear of judgment from people in positions of power;
  • Extroverts take center stage;
  • Groups hate scary ideas, even it they're great ones;
Steps of the creative process
  1. Preparation: individual study to focus your mind on the problem;
  2. Incubation: the problem enters your unconscious mind and nothing appears to be happening externally;
  3. Intimation: you get a “feeling” that a solution is on the way;
  4. Illumination: your creative idea moves to conscious awareness;
  5. Verification: your idea is consciously verified, expanded upon, and then executed.