Could you imagine spending every waking moment of your life walking on a treadmill that never stops? Would you be tired? Happy? Stressed? Have you ever been really excited about getting something new only to see it become unused or lay to waste after a few weeks or months? Are you as excited about your car or cell phone now as your were two years ago when you purchased it? Do the things we buy and the lifestyle we accumulate over time actually make us happier? Was there a point in your life where you had nothing but you were genuinely excited about life? I honestly think understanding hedonic adaption can be one of the most important concepts that affects both our monetary well being and also our overall happiness.
What Is It?
The concept of a hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaption, refers to the 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. -Rosenbloom.