The Hedonic Treadmill

The hedonic treadmill is the tendency of a person to remain at a relatively stable level of happiness despite changes in fortune or the achievement of major goals. As a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness. Wikipedia

Below is a very good video on consumption and the externalities it creates. If you are constantly in pursuit of keeping up with others in the community and conspicuously buying, you’re more likely to become addicted to shopping and feel less pleasure and happiness each time you buy. Conversely, reducing your consumption, living more simply, and focusing instead on experiences will ultimately — as this research shows — make you happier. Here is a very good video of this.

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