In our last +1, we talked about the fact that when we go after accumulating more and more “stuff” (whether that’s the latest gadgets or Instagram likes), we often find ourselves working harder and harder but not getting any happier.
We’re stuck on what scientists call a “hedonic treadmill.”
The exciting news?
One more time…
THERE ARE NO EUDAIMONIC TREADMILLS.
(Am I shouting? Yes. I am shouting.)
When we focus on living with more and more virtue, we, get this…
ACTUALLY GET HAPPIER! (Hah.)
We talk about this in our Notes on Stephen Joseph’s What Doesn’t Kill Us—a book all about “The New Science of Posttraumatic Growth.”
For now, I want to highlight a couple wisdom gems on the difference between hedonic and eudaimonic approaches to life.
Stephen tells us: “Eudaimonism, then, refers to a life dedicated to seeking meaning, engagement with the existential challenges of life, and the actualization of human potential, whereas hedonism refers to a life dedicated to seeking pleasure, happiness, and enjoyment.”
He also tells us: “In one study published in 2010, investigators examined the results of a survey conducted by 5,630 people when they were fifty-five to fifty-six years of age and, again, when they were sixty- five to sixty-six. Those who scored higher on a measure of eudaimonic well-being at the younger age were over seven times less likely to be depressed ten years later than those whose scores were lower.”
One of the main points of his book is the fact that trauma can lead to growth by catalyzing a shift from hedonism to eudaimonism.
I say, why wait?
Here’s to high fiving our inner soul as we practice our philosophy and give the world our best.