Back to Happiness

May 25, 2018

When the shine has gone it's easy to forget our feelings. It's quite common. We tend to return to a base level of excitement, after the joy of happiness.

They call it hectic hedonism [1]. Despite our level of contentment increases we can't hold it for a long time. If you think about it it's, in a certain way, logical. If every action we do or every new thing we get could just make a permanent increase in that level we'll end up, in the long run, living in a euphoric state that will blow our minds, for sure.

That makes hectic hedonism quite convenient, but we should be aware of how our mind works to avoid falling into the excitement trap.

Back in the day, I bought my first electric guitar. It was a second hand Talmus, with a broken neck, barely fixed, and a loosen pick up that most of the time blocked the strings making some strange and glitchy noises, sometimes beautiful but always unwanted.

However, I felt like a metal master with his awesome axe. Some time later I started to see the real thing and tried to get by with it. That guitar was stolen, and with the loose, I realized how much joy it gave me.

After some months, I replaced the stolen guitar with my actual one. This time the guitar was brand new, and compared to the prior one, was a substantial increase in quality.

I really like guitars, so every time I go to a guitar center I spend some time looking the beauties they have. And I've been tempted to get a new one. Not because I need a better one but for the excitement of getting another shiny one.

But even when I still like guitars, I've changed my mind. I've learned that we're prone to forget the excitement and return to our base level fast, but after a short period of calm we feel the urge to be happy again, so we look for something new that can give us a new dose of excitement. That's insane, because most of the time we just buy something new, shiner or bigger.

Now, I'm trying something different. Every time I use something that has lost its punch I just remember how the things were prior to getting that thing. I think about how that changed my life, and meanwhile, I experiment a portion of the original joy that came with those changes.

It's going quite well but don't expect to peak your happiness to the limit. You'll find that happiness is inside us, not in that stuff, waiting for an opportunity to show up. This little hack works better when whatever you bring to your life is the result of a meditated decision, so you can really put the whole thing in context and evaluate how it matched your expectations.

Take care!

[1]A nice take on hectic hedonism

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