NEWS FLASH: Hedonist Pursuits Unfulfilling

People adapt to income shifts relatively quickly; the long-lasting benefits are essentially zero.

So far, the single most important discovery in happiness research is the idea of hedonic adaptation. Put simply, we take things for granted after a while. Experiences are so much harder to get used to because they are unique events. When you buy a car, for a few months you cherish it, but within a year you’re totally used to it.

The more you can do to slow down that pattern of getting used to things, the better. One of my recommendations is to stop, take note, and give thanks–not necessarily to God but just to reflect on what you’ve achieved and what you’ve got. You need to stop and think, “Actually, I’m damn fortunate.”

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