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The Power of the Granted

Updated: May 18

The Hedonic Treadmill

The things we possess, including money, do not increase our happiness once we get used to them.

Once we get used to things, they slowly but gradually become indifferent to us. We start to take their existence in our lives for granted, until we forget the value we once placed on them. This can make them seem worthless in our eyes.

The key to maintaining our happiness lies in maintaining the initial gratitude and appreciation we have for the things we already possess. Getting more and more things we don't need, just to be happy, is a waste of time and money. Instead, we can create a mindset of gratitude and appreciation, which is free of charge.

This is the cycle of financial materialism: chasing after something that we think will make us happy, only to find that it doesn't once we get used to it. This leads us to buy more and more things, just to maintain the initial happiness. However, this is actually counterproductive, because it leads to addiction. And every addiction leads to short-term happiness in quantity, but not to long-term happiness in quality.

This is why I know that even if I were to become rich, I would most likely become accustomed to it. I would be mentally the same way I was before I was rich. This would make the quest for wealth counterproductive. The return to point 1, the point of no satisfaction, is inevitable unless we develop a mindset of satisfaction, regardless of our financial and social status.

In other words, happiness is not something that we can buy. It is something that we have to create for ourselves. And the best way to create happiness is to focus on the things that we already have, and to be grateful for them.

Hence why I have chosen asceticism over hedonism. The joy already exists within the potential of our minds. Hedonists can live the way they do and rarely feel any joy beyond the immediate pleasure of costly things. Neither of these things are needed when you can teach your brain to release the chemicals that lead to your desired state of mind, through conscious thinking and alteration of your mindset.

Everything else is extra, not the essence. It is not the sauce, but the spaghetti, that makes the meal edible. The sauce is merely an addition, an extra taste, but without the spaghetti, the meal that is life will not be edible, as you will try to eat it anyways because you were taught to do so.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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