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Thread: Escaping the Hedonic Treadmill.

  1. #1
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    Escaping the Hedonic Treadmill.

    I think that novelty, even in the form of something big like a new apartment, job, or relationship, would relieve my unhappiness for a time. But I know that sooner or later, I'd be unsatisfied again. The luster would wear off.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill

    For the people here who have escaped this.... what did you do? What worked, and what didn't work?

  2. #2
    Member Mxx's Avatar
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    I accept the dissatisfaction, and keep on pursuing periodic change.

  3. #3
    was here.. LordLatch's Avatar
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    Work to serve someone else deriving satisfaction selfishly from their pleasure. And then laugh.
    This just in: I'm accepting all friend requests too unless you're a fricken jerk and I can't stand your existence and inane drivel. If that's the case, then I'll accept your friend request so I can keep an eye on your ass unless you don't hold any interest for me; then only the threat of keeping my eye on you stands. feces

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    Quote Originally Posted by latch View Post
    Work to serve someone else deriving satisfaction selfishly from their pleasure. And then laugh.
    That's not selfish because..... it just isn't ok? Selfish bad. Me like that. Me not like bad. Therefore, me not think that selfish. Me can't be selfish! Me good!

    To me, it's obvious that most people stop being selfless as soon as they stop getting pleasure from it, usually. Which makes it not really all that selfless. And that's ok. I find it immensely annoying when people get self-righteous about this. The pleasure they get out of it truly has nothing to do with them being selfless? I don't buy that. People make a lot more sense if the two things are intertwined.

    Me, I can stick with things even if they are not pleasurable anymore. Maybe I shouldn't though.
    Last edited by msg_v2; 08-22-2014 at 03:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily know, because I'm not sure I'm off it...

    That being said, i've had the thought that creative, artistic, and other pursuits might help. Those kinds of activities that are fun but aren't about measuring yourself against a continuum with other people.

    Socialising with people who like those things could help i imagine. But I'm not yet sure whether enjoying those activities is a predefined personality trait, or how much our culture is inherently turning us into a bunch of competitive jerks who can't feel enjoyment in an activity if it isn't competing with someone...

  6. #6
    Ciao for now jamesgold's Avatar
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    Live with friends.

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    Pay for experiences, not things.

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    Member Zephyrus's Avatar
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    Thevenin failed to mention one of his recommended books, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, by William Irving. I now have a copy myself, and I feel confident saying that its advice, if faithfully followed, would free you from the hedonistic treadmill.

    Btw, thanks Thevenin!

  9. #9
    Member Phreon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thevenin View Post
    Pay for experiences, not things.
    Just have experiences. Money is only loosely related to the quality of experience a person can have. Read John Muir. Hike somewhere remote. Learn to ride and get a shitty old motorcycle. Truly experience and appreciate the touch, the curves, the essence of a woman. Listen to some Coltrane with scotch on the rocks. Stand in the rain. Swim in a river. Grow your own vegetables. Zipline through the fall foliage. Learn to brew beer. Find the oldest jazz club in town and hang out. Have a campfire and beer with friends. Seek out the nearest road-show screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stare at the sky on a clear night at a dark site. You get the gist.

  10. #10
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    I don't think I could give advice on how to relieve your unhappiness.

    I think people can consciously work to down-regulate their own needs, and it can help them to enjoy life more. For instance, I'm on a diet, so everything tastes really really good. I was pissy for a couple days, but then down-regulation made it easier to deal with.

    Pushing my limits with cardio and weights has hugely impacted the steadiness of my mood, and my needs.

    Developing a craftsmanlike attitude towards my work has made me less prone to huge swings of happiness.

    I suppose all these things are predicated on self-knowledge, checking in with myself on how I'm feeling about things.

    The wells of happiness that don't dry up are things like walking my dog after having a drink or two, or watching/reading something funny. Thinking, like stopping everything and letting your brain be speculative with no goal, that's one that seems to get deeper with age.

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