The Hedonic Treadmill: Lemmings Over The Cliff

Most of us are familiar with a phenomenon referred to as “The Hedonic Treadmill”.

This occurs when there is something you really desire, maybe a new car, a new job, or a pay raise.

We experience a short term rise in happiness when we finally achieve it.

Sadly though, this doesn’t last.

Soon, what was once a seemingly exciting acquisition or achievement, becomes part of your new “normal”, at which point it is taken for granted and something else replaces it as the new desire.

At each point it seems that happiness rests on satisfying the latest desire, but ultimately any satisfaction is short lived, and we move on to the next desire. And then the next. And the next, in a never ending futile loop.

The excessively wealthy can afford to pursue this endless loop in a cycle of wasted resources and a wasted life.

Those who are poorer often become trapped in a cycle of debt and unfulfilled dreams, never achieving lasting happiness.

Some are fortunate enough to recognize what is happening and break free, but it is challenging as modern society is based on consumption as predicted by Victor Lebow in the 1950’s.

Are you caught in this trap? How will you break free?

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