Feeling Good Program || Justin Kan
“In our society today it is easy to get caught on the hedonic treadmill: the belief that happiness is just around the corner if one can only achieve the next milestone, or experience the next life experience. This is a trap. As someone who has achieved more and more success over time, and experienced more and more fun, positive, exciting things, no achievement or experience has ever resulted in a sustained increase to baseline happiness for me.
Expectations for how you will feel once you achieve your goal lead to an endless cycle of suffering. Either you get what you want and then set new, higher, loftier goals, or you don’t get what you want and end up feeling miserable. In The Score Takes Care of Itself, Bill Walsh tells of winning three Super Bowls in ten years, only to quit at the height of success because victories felt like they didn’t count any more.
Because of my observations during achievement phases, I used to believe that it was impossible to change your baseline happiness: that each of us has a certain level of happiness he or she was born with, and after momentary spikes up or down we will always revert to the mean. In the past year I’ve reversed my thinking, as doing the following things has collectively improved my happiness.
Note: I started off as a beginner in each of these areas, and personally have relatively low willpower. The following things aren’t very hard to do, they just require repetition, consistent reminders, and practice…”