Hedonic adaptation is the tendency for humans to quickly adapt to major positive or negative life events or changes and return to their base level of happiness. As a person achieves more success, expectations and desires rise in tandem.
The result is never feeling satisfied — achieving no permanent gain in happiness.
Even if you’ve spent your whole life pursuing something, once you get it, you adapt to the new reality. It becomes the new normal. Once it’s “normal“, we’re susceptible to the same feelings of inadequacy or underachievement that we had before.
I’m not saying don’t strive for more. Quite the contrary.
Solely decreasing your expectations ensures that you will never reach your full potential. The key is not simply adapting to arbitrary outcomes, but adapting to the truth.
THE RAT RACE.
Bottled happiness. A system designed to keep you spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Spending. Always SPENDING. Yet never fulfilled.
Gain self-awareness, maximise your perception of reality, and then act without desperately seeking validation that will only be short-lived, or having your happiness dependent on outcomes.
Don’t live by comparisons. Live by what’s true. Let knowing that you’ll adapt be empowering. You can’t buy happiness. It lies within. What are you willing to walk away from in order to financially succeed?
“Once you accept that spending money doesn’t equal happiness, you have half the battle won.” – Ernest Callenbach