Using my trackers definitely makes me more productive, and it’s such a great feeling of on-it-ness that it makes me want more of that experience!
Which is a (seemingly) good thing, AND it gives rise to how I want to use the Desires section today…
I desire to explore the nature of my desires… and their fulfillment.
It’s a good thing, right? It’s what animates us. It’s what we’re all busy doing. Doing what it takes to get what we want in life, right?
The idea being that attaining what we want will bring us greater happiness.
Wellll, I had to put that baked-into-us way of operating off to the side this week to consider another way of operating. It happened as a result of listening to William B. Irvine – a ‘stoic tour guide’ – lay out how the “become happy by getting what you want” strategy is a faulty one because of how it puts you on what’s called the hedonic treadmill.
Also referred to as ‘hedonic adaptation’…
hedonic treadmill – the human tendency to quickly return to your baseline level of happiness… regardless of positive or negative changes in your life
I’ll use my experience with my Achievements this week as an example of how it goes:
👉 I want something – If only I had greater consistency and productivity, I could be a real contender – a great success in life!
👉 I work to get it – I know, I’ll create some trackers – those are supposed to be very helpful for ADHD.
👉 I finally do get it – Achievement!!
👉 I’m happy for a while – I am soo on my game! Watch out, world, here I come!
👉 I get used to the thing I have – Yeah, this is just what I do now. Boring, unexciting trackers that make me more consistent. So what?
👉 I find I’m no happier than I was before I got what I wanted – Consistency and productivity are cool, but… they don’t deliver ‘happily ever after’ the way I thought they would… What else might do it?
Do you recognize yourself at all in this?
Fill in “I really want _____” with your own specifics. Are you pretty sure that having that will make you happier?
And it may. But not lastingly happier. All getting what you want really does is slow down desiring… for a few days. Then you come up with new stuff to want.
How smart is it to work really hard to get something… only to end up no happier than you were before you went to all that trouble? Where’s the sense in that?
And is there a better way?
Turns out, yes, there is! And it’s my big Takeaway this week…
❌ Since the cause of my unhappiness is ‘the gap’ between what I WANT and what I HAVE… and the gap must be filled in order for me to be happy… then the thing to do is work hard to fill it by getting what I want.
Closing the gap still needs to happen in order for me to be happy, BUT there is another way- a vastly more effective way – to close the gap! And it is… to learn to…
🔑 Want the things you already have.
Pushback to the new understanding:
Hold on. Too simple. And isn’t that going to rob me of my mojo and doom me to a life of unjustified contentment and, therefore, mediocrity? Like, if all I want is what I already have… then what reason do I have to get better at or attain anything?
Having tested the new understanding:
I am happy to report that what it actually does is fill me with a sense of being very pleased with who I already am and in love with all that I already have 😃… AND FROM THAT PLACE I choose to do the things I think up to do.
Same stuff happens in a day, REALLY different internal experience while doing it 😍
If you want to embrace the life that you already are living and count yourself lucky to be living that life, and you want some guidance in the psychological strategies – the stoics’ tricks – that make it fun and easy to do so, reach out to me with a Reply. I’m all about that now and happy to share!
Oh, and if you want a fill-in-able I CHOOSE THIS Tracker, let me know and I’ll send you a pdf to print print out and work with. And some tips for working with it that will make you excited about really using it.
💖 💖 💖
Do you feel stuck in some area of your life and want to find out if Choose Your Life Coaching with Jeanne Demers & Natalie Glynn is right for you?
You can schedule a time to chat here.
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