running on the hedonic treadmill

“The 7 Deadly Sins are:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Business without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principle”  Gandhi

Everywhere people are chasing something and are finding that as hard as they chase they are unable to grab hold to this elusive thing.   You may hear in their words, “If I only __________________”, then I would be _____________.  What is that second word?

Was it happiness?   Yes, people are chasing happiness and are having a hard time grasping it.   The faster you run towards happiness the greater the distance to achieve it.    Studies have been done on those who win lotteries and those people have a six month boost in happiness before returning to the level of happiness they had before their fortunate outcome.

People who are the happiest have strong relationships, a rewarding career, supportive social networks, financial sufficiency and ability to make choices. To jump of the hedonic treadmill try improving your relationships,  working at something you enjoy, and spreading happiness around.

Relationships matter

 Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh!’ he whispered. ‘Yes, Piglet?’ ‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’ “ A.A. Milne

Positive psychology research has shown that people with good relationships are happier than those who don’t have relationships with others.

Rewarding Career

Working a career that uses your strengths and abilities leads to greater happiness.   Examine your strengths and talents and find work that leverages them.

 

 

Supportive Social networks

Happiness is contagious.  Research done by Dan Gilbert shows that happiness spreads.   If someone else is happy you’re likely to catch some of that happiness and spread it to others.  Find people who are supportive and happy and spread it around.

 

 

Other happiness indicators are:

  • Financial Sufficiency – having enough money
  • Democracy – sense of choice, empowered
  • Religion – increased sense of fulfillment
  • Praise to criticism ratio of 3 praises to 1 criticism

“In a true partnership, the kind worth striving for, the kind worth insisting on, and even, frankly, worth divorcing over, both people try to give as much or even a little more than they get. “Deserves” is not the point. And “owes” is certainly not the point. The point is to make the other person as happy as we can, because their happiness adds to ours. The point is — in the right hands, everything that you give, you get.”   Amy Bloom

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