Harry Holmes just made a billion dollars.

He was really happy.

for maybe a year.

And then felt the exact same as before.

Welcome to the Hedonic Treadmill.

Keep reading...
1/ Harry's dream was always to build a unicorn and impact the world.

He worked hard, got into Stanford, and pursued a degree in Computer Science.

He graduates and joins an early stage startup....
2/ It fails.

He joins another startup.

It is moderately successful.

After learning for 5 years, he leaves and starts his own company.
3/ He works his ass off for a decade.

Sleepless nights. 7 days a week. 18 hour days.

However, he scales the business.

It becomes a monster hit.

He sells it for $10B.

All his hard work haws paid off and now he can be happy forever.

Not so fast...
4/ The Hedonic treadmill is the concept that someone's happiness remains the same despite major positive or negative events.

You stay stuck because your expectations rise with your success.

This same level of happiness is called your "set point".
5/ Harry's exit is similar to eating a candy bar.

You get a spike of energy and then come crashing back to earth.

Eventually, his expectations rise and he is at the same level of happiness as before.

Albeit, much richer.
6/ Why is this true?

Only 10% of happiness comes from life circumstances.

40% is from intentional activities.

50% is from your genetic "set point."

Ok, so what should we do?
7/ Stop Lying to Yourself.

The Big Exit won't make you happy. You aren't different from everyone else.

"Money doesn't buy happiness - it buys freedom."

Freedom CAN LEAD to happiness.

Freedom ≠ Happiness
8/ How to Slow the Hedonic Treadmill🏃‍♂️

• Gratitude: Deliberately being thankful slows the treadmill

• Growth: Focus on the journey instead of all your problems being solved by 1 outcome.

• Mindfulness: We enjoy life more when we stay in the moment.
9/ Harry Holmes isn't real but we all experience this in different ways.

We move the goalposts of success so that enough is never enough.

The first step to avoiding the trap is to know it exists.
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