Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Foot in Front of the Other...

Some people are happy. Some aren't.

Some want to be even happier. Some are too happy.

Some think it's easy. Some think it's static. Some think it's earned. Some think it's elusive and find others who possess it annoying. And some who possess it are annoyed by those who are annoyed by them possessing it.

That's life, I suppose.

Personally, I've always believed in the hedonic treadmill theory. Or when I say believed, I mean when I first read about it, something clicked inside me. Yes, I thought, that's how it is for me.

Good things have happened to me. Bad things have happened to me. Very good things have happened to me. Very bad things have happened to me. My happiness has gone up and it's gone down, but never that far, and never that high. I always go back to pretty much where I was before.

And I'm not complaining. I think my before is a pretty happy place.

(Twenty bucks someone gets annoyed at that...)

But what most clicked was the idea that I didn't have to take blame or responsibility for it. Because sometimes people try and make you feel bad for feeling bad, or for feeling good, or for just feeling how you damn well feel. Do something to fix it, they seem to be saying.

Can't, says the hedonic treadmill theory. It would be pointless. I am the way I am, and you should accept me the way I am, because I do. And I kind of like that.

But then it's just a theory, and it could be completely full of crap. Still doesn't mean I don't kind of like it.

Anyway, you tell me: is your happiness a treadmill ride, or no?


  1. Humm. Interesting thought, but I disagree. I think happiness is a choice. You can choose happiness or unhappiness. Sure good and bad stuff happens to everyone, but some people only focus on the negatives, rather than seeing all the positives that surround the negative. And some people can get stuck in the whole negative whirlwind....and it just sucks them in. One foot in front of the other would be good for the really depressed negative individuals. And whatever with the sick people that can't handle others happiness...that's absurd, but all too true.

  2. Very interesting! Dissecting happiness, something that is impossible to really measure! I feel the treadmill theory is very good.

    Elizabeth brings up an interesting point - I didn't even think of that aspect, but I do know many people who are or have been stuck in a negative rut (no matter what's going on in their lives).

    Some days I also have to remind myself to be positive; it will make me feel better overall and improve everyone's day, too! If I have a rude student, I remind myself, 'I've had 20 polite students, so that's a pretty good ratio' then I feel better about the exchange.

    Happiness is a choice, I do like that theory! Today, I'm going to be happy (been feeling kinda bummy today!).

  3. You know, I really like that: Today, I'm going to be happy.

    Good points, both, and much more for me to think about...hmmm....


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