How to put the hedonic treadmill in reverse

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More than any other tactic, gratitude actually helps you become a happier person.

It could be through prayer, loving-kindness meditation, or simply listing the things that you’re thankful for.

But everyone who has tried a gratitude practice knows that it has a major problem:

There is no “fake it ‘till you make it” mindset with this. You have to genuinely appreciate the blessings you have.

And this is the hard part.

It’s hard to appreciate the air conditioning in your home. Or the fact that you have food on the table every day.

In my experience, no amount of sitting in silence can make me grateful for these simple things. Just like no amount of manifestation can grow my bank account.

We often experience the hedonic treadmill instead.

  • Flying business class makes you despise coach. Flying first class makes you despise business class.
  • Driving a Range Rover makes you despise your Jeep.
  • Drinking a $100 bottle of wine makes you despise the $20 bottle you used to drink.

Once you taste these luxuries, you can never go back.  And this begins to poison your mind.

A beautiful sunset is only beautiful when it’s viewed through an Instagram filter with that $100 bottle in hand.

As new priorities surface, the relationship with your spouse becomes mundane, easy to take for granted.

And it only gets worse from here.

With social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, we’re walking on other peoples’ treadmills.

Even though it’s a cause for celebration, your $100 bottle of wine isn’t good enough when your favorite influencer is drinking a $1,000 bottle on a yacht in the Caribbean.

When compared to what you see on social media, your vacations are plebeian... your life is mundane… Even your greatest achievements.

The hedonic treadmill can be especially brutal for entrepreneurs. It’s in our nature to seek progress and achievement.

But once someone gets that achievement, everything before it seems empty or useless.

And so it becomes impossible to appreciate the small things like a sunny day or a moment of connection.

But there is one practice that can help you scale back your hedonic adaptation, put your treadmill in reverse, and teach you to appreciate all the blessings that you have.

And that is the topic of this week’s issue of Discipline and Desire.

Go here today to learn more:


Andrew Ryder

Create irresistible content
using basic principles of human nature
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