3. Believing Success Will Make You Happy
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a Cornell psychologist who has studied the relationship between money and happiness for over two decades.
“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” Gilovich further states.
Actually, savoring the anticipation or idea of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want — whether that’s wealth, health, or excellent relationships — we adapt and the excitement fades. Often, the experiences we’re seeking end up being underwhelming and even disappointing.
I love watching this phenomena in our foster kids. They feel like they need a certain toy or the universe will explode. Their whole world revolves around getting this one thing. Yet, once we buy the toy for them, it’s not long before the joy fades and they want something else.
Until you appreciate what you currently have, more won’t make your life better.
4. Believing You’re Not Up For the Challenge
Just as we deceive ourselves into believing something will make us happier than it will, we also deceive ourselves into believing something will be harder than it will.
The longer you procrastinate or avoid doing something, the more painful (in your head) it becomes. However, once you take action, the discomfort is far less severe than you imagined. Even to extremely difficult things, humans adapt.
I recently sat on a plane with a lady who has 17 kids. Yes, you read that correctly. After having eight of her own, her and her husband felt inspired to foster four siblings whom they later adopted. A few years later, they took on another five foster siblings whom they also adopted.
Of course, the initial shock to the system impacted her entire family. But they’re handling it. And believe it or not, you could handle it too, if you had to.
The problem with dread and fear is that it holds people back from taking on big challenges. What you will find , no matter how big or small the challenge, is that you will adapt to it.
When you consciously adapt to enormous stress, you evolve.