Picture of a person writing in a journal

Have you ever found yourself trapped on a hedonic treadmill? Frantically exhausting yourself like a gerbil, seemingly never ever able to get ahead or keep up with the mythical Joneses?

“The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. According to this theory, as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness.” – Wikipedia

Ah, how quickly the extraordinary can fade away into the commonplace and enough is just never quite enough. This is in part because you can never satisfy a spiritual/social/human connection need with a material good and also because ‘you can never get enough of what you don’t really need’.

Journaling is an excellent way to raise both your EQ and self-awareness. Two skill sets that are incredibly valuable in avoiding exploding wants and staying off the hedonic treadmill: Predictive Intelligence (what future will your actions, habits, and thoughts create?) and Effective Forecasting (how will your future self like the future you are in the process of creating?).

When you set a goal or target, write down in your journal the ‘why’ and the ‘what’: How do you expect to feel when this result is achieved? How will your life be different/better? How long do you expect that feeling to last?

The truth is life is a journey not a destination for beyond each mountain top scaled lies but another. And that is okay, more than okay, if you’ve enjoyed the hike up and have grown and learned along the way.

Closing Quotes:

“The moment of victory is too fleeting to life for that alone.” – Martina Navratilova, 18 Tennis Majors

“A goal is not always meant to reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee, 1940-1973

“If your life goals revolve around lots of money, prestige, and other worldly things, you are setting yourself up to have exploding wants and low life satisfaction.” – Arthur Brooks, ‘From Strength to Strength’

“The world I am desperately trying to understand is the one in which men think they want one thing and then, upon getting it, find out to their dismay that they didn’t really want it as much as they thought or didn’t want it all and that something else is what they want.” – Albert Otto Hirschman, “Shifting Involvements,” 1915 – 2012, economist

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier