One purchase away from happiness

An existential snake eating its own tail

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Why do we spend our lives searching for things we don’t have?

Because we have this persistent belief that once we reach a certain destination, we will finally be happy.

And the danger is, with our eyes fixed on the beguiling mirage, we deny ourselves the joys of the immediacy of the unpostponed life. We outrun our own souls chasing after some imagined future, only to tumble farther down a bottomless pit that leads to more desire.

But it’s an infinite regression. A hedonic spiral. An existential snake eating its own tail.

It’s one thing to take genuine pleasure in obtaining the things we want without guilt of afterthought, it’s another thing to convince ourselves that we couldn’t possibly be happy without it.

Recently I was listened to an intriguing conversation between two medical professionals. The first was a physician who specialized in addiction medicine, and the other was family therapist who specialized in eating disorders and trauma. But both of them agreed on one thing.

If people want to take charge of their own thoughts, they have to interrupt the worry stream with wonder. They have to ask themselves pointed and truthful questions.

Here’s my favorite example.

Is this thing going to fuel me to better health, or is it going to fuel the idea that I’m not good enough?

What a brilliant provocation to help us escape the hedonic hamster wheel. Because the reality is, we will always see something else to desire.

But if we become so mired in stress that we forgot how great we could feel, it’s not worth it.

Are you succumbing to the overwhelming sense of urgency that you are one purchase away from happiness?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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