Does getting what you want bring lasting happiness?

Are you getting everything you want?

Are you getting everything you want?

Do you think you’d be happy for the rest of your life if you received a million dollars, secured the perfect job or met your ideal partner? Would happiness be lost forever if you lost your job, you lost your money or your partner left you?

The reality is that after a period of adjustment, in most circumstances, we’ll bounce back to our previous level of happiness, despite what happens to us.

Our adaptability works in two directions. Because we’re so adaptable we quickly get used to many of the accomplishments we strive for in life, such as landing the big job or owning the dream car, holiday house or diamond ring.

Soon after we reach a milestone we start to feel that something is missing. Our new level of success or achievement becomes our base line, our excitement and euphoria subside and we ask ‘What’s next?’ We recalibrate our lives so the exceptional quickly becomes the normal.

Such an approach keeps us tethered to the hedonic treadmill, chasing more, where happiness is always just out of reach, one toy or promotion away. It’s a never-ending cycle of ‘I’ll be happy when’.

It’s possible to get off the treadmill when we learn to be grateful for what we have and to enjoy it fully without feeling the need to push it aside to see what’s next. Sometimes striving is not as satisfying as being.

If you seek lasting happiness, focus on activities that are exciting, interesting and attention-absorbing; activities that inspire you. When you find a hobby, passion or vocation that makes you happy you may find you require less ‘stuff’ to fill the void.

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2 Responses to “Does getting what you want bring lasting happiness?”

  1. paulhassing Says:

    Hedonic treadmill tether. Very nice, WLB2! I agree with you on all points. And I must have that damn frog. Kind regards, P. 🙂

  2. Kindred Spirit Says:

    Love it! Your second from the last paragraph sumed it all up and your last paragraph gave us a solution if we still weren’t sure what to do now that we have found the true meaning of “Being” happy. This was right on time for me…..you seem to always know the right words to say or express the perfect message at certain times of my life. I’ve been singing that song “Happy” for weeks now and this message fits right in with that song. I send you Peace, Love, and true “Happiness”.

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