and perhaps also on a similar note:
Can you remember the last time you were dreaming of buying a new car, getting a promotion at work, moving into a nicer house or finding a partner to share life with? Do you remember fantasizing about how happy you would be if you attained those things? If you finally did attain one of those things, you may have found that the “happiness boost” didn’t last that long or wasn’t as intense as you’d imagined. Most of us have gone through this cycle. The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is a theory positing that people repeatedly return to their baseline level of happiness, regardless of what happens to them.
I think that happiness is best defined as the feeling of making progress towards your goals, not achieving them but making progress towards them. This means having some well thought out goals, e.g. building health and fitness, building better social relationships, setting specific challenges and living by a set of values (integrity, authenticity, respect and compassion for others and yourself, excellence and commitment, courage, personal responsibility, optimism and gratitude).
Recently I've heard/read about a mental framework called "Regret minimisation". With regret minimisation you ask yourself, "would my future self in x minutes/days/weeks/months/years regret doing this or regret not doing this?", and based on this you do what would be preferrable for your future self.
An short term example might be if you are considering eating a sugary snack, you ask yourself, "Would my future self in 15 minutes regret this?". If the answer is yes, then you do not eat it, if the answer is no, then you do eat it. Or if you are sitting on the sofa, and consider should you continue to scroll through various apps on your phone or should you get up and practise xyz. You ask yourself "Which option would my future self in 1 week prefer?" and go with that.
Typically, our current self is more likely to pick an option that is more comfortable in the moment, implicitly delaying anything that is immediately uncomfortable to our future self. However, the option that would optimise happiness and comfort for your future self is typically the one that is more uncomfortable in the moment, and thus less appealing to your current self. Thus it is better to think through what your future self wants in any scenario and go with that.
I prefer to think of this as optimising for your self rather than minimising the regret of your future self.
A very interesting podcast from Tim Ferris with Dr Christopher M. Palmer, on how a ketogenic diet could help positively with depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.
Also a similar conversation with Andrew Huberman.
As a disclaimer, I am not a strong advocate of ketogenic diets but strongly believe in eating less processed foods which does generally mean less processed carbs and less carbs in general, as there is only so much fruit, vegetables and salad one can eat 😊.
I really liked the second and third points in this podcast on the effect of using hands and dopamine sparking words in meetings and presentations:
One of my favourite quotes from Rocky Balboa is one that deals with resilience and responding positively to failure:
Let me tell you something you already know.
The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows.
It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain't about how hard ya hit.
It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
How much you can take and keep moving forward.
That's how winning is done!
In a fixed mindset people believe that their intelligence is fixed and static. Those who adopt a fixed mindset are more likely to:
In a growth mindset people believe that intelligence and talents can be improved through effort and learning. Those who adopt a growth mindset are more likely to: