“Since these conveniences by becoming habitual had almost entirely ceased to be enjoyable, and at the same time degenerated into true needs, it became much more cruel to be deprived of them than to possess them was sweet, and men were unhappy to lose them without being happy to possess them.”
―Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality
I just got back into town after spending an amazing 10 days in La Jolla, California staying in an incredible beachfront home with ocean views.
Each day, I would wake up, watch the waves roll in, take in the sounds and sights of the seagulls, and couldn’t imagine myself any happier.
That was day 1…
By the 10th day, I noticed I wasn’t looking out at the window as much. My appreciation had dimmed a bit for the beauty and sounds of the ocean. I was quickly adapting to what I would consider “paradise”.
In fact, I even met a local that told me they wanted to sell their oceanfront condo and live in another part of the world. I was dumbfounded. How could anything be better?
Truly, the hedonic treadmill is real. The hedonic treadmill is a theory positing that people repeatedly return to their baseline level of happiness, regardless of what happens to them.
When I felt my happiness begin to dim. I became mindful of it and started thinking how lucky I was to be able to enjoy this trip.
I had the resources to enjoy good food and the local activities.
I had the physical health to bike, hike, and walk the beautiful beaches.
I had friends to show me their favorite hidden treasures and engage in deep conversations.
Once I got into that state of gratitude I noticed my happiness levels increased and my appreciation for the beauty of the area felt child-like.
As your passive income grows from land investing, and you begin to achieve full autonomy over your time and life, be especially mindful of your mind and how it craves more, judges, and simply adapts to its circumstances.
Freedom from the mind may be the ultimate freedom and one worth pursuing. This is why I recommend meditation, prayer, or a gratitude journal so you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Tal Ben-Shahar is an American and Israeli writer in the field of positive psychology and leadership. He suggests the following tips for amplifying our level of happiness (2006):
- Give yourself permission to be human: Accept your emotions, including fear, sadness, and anxiety. Rejecting them leads to frustration
- Simplify your life. Focus on one thing at a time and reduce multitasking.
- Find meaning and pleasure. Engage in goals you want to achieve instead of what you feel obligated to do. Spend two hours per week on hobbies. Spend time with our loved ones.
- Focus on the positive and be grateful. Each day, write down five things for which you’re grateful.
- Increase the effort you put into your relationships. Go on a date with your significant other or spend more time talking to your children.
- Be mindful of the mind-body connection through exercise and the practice of mindfulness meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques. Research has shown that exercising leads to decreased levels of depression.