Saturday, December 12, 2009
ARE U JUST THE SAME…? HEDONIC TREADMILL AT WORK!!!!
Are you just the same despite the changes in you? To make it clearer, could you maintain a relative stable level of happiness despite a change in fortune or the achievement of major goals?....As you know a treadmill is an exercise machine for running or walking while staying in one place.Hedonic treadmill works when one remains the same in the pursuit of happiness just like how a person on the tread mill constantly works out staying in the same place for the reduction of weight.
Hedonic treadmill is a perfect descriptor for when you experience life as the kind of person who is never satisfied – no matter what your accomplishments are. You view the glass as upside down, i.e. unfillable, starting from square one even if you just completed a major task.
The word “Hedonism” refers the doctrine holding that behaviour is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.The concept “Hedonistic Treadmill” was designed by Michael Eysenck, a British psychology researcher during the late nineties, to refer to the hedonic treadmill theory which compares the pursuit of happiness to a person on a treadmill, who has to keep working just to stay in the same place.
Despite the fact that external forces are constantly changing our life goals, happiness for most people is a relatively constant state. Regardless of how good things get, people always report about the same level of happiness.
The theory supports the argument that money does not buy happiness and that the pursuit of money as a way to reach this goal is futile. Good and bad fortunes may temporarily affect how happy a person is, but most people will end up back at their normal level of happiness,,
"The trouble is, if nice things happen to you, your expectations go up." With no escape from the hedonic treadmill, reducing expectations becomes the key to happiness.
—T. Lott, "Happiness: Three academics look for life's biggest secret," Sunday Herald, April 15, 1990
Running on the hedonic treadmill should not be confused with the selfish excess of pure hedonism. A poorer person with significant financial debts may feel just as satisfied with his or her life as a wealthy person.
Studies show that lottery winners and others who have come into sudden wealth only experience a temporary surge in personal happiness levels. Once they have satisfied their essential list of desires and have become financially solvent, many lottery winners report feelings of disappointment that their wealth did not make them feel any different about their lives.
Hacking the Treadmill:
So before we conclude, let’s check how to apply this theory to maximize your happiness?
Break up long-term goals into a series of short-term goals that can be accomplished on a daily basis. Not only does this have the benefit of increasing your incremental happiness gained from completing these “mini-goals” , but the process of breaking them up into smaller goals helps to clarify the path you need to take towards achieving the end goal….