What if I told you that regardless of what you do you, there is a high probability that you will not be happier? I know this sounds a little depressing but let me explain.

The concept is called the hedonic treadmill also known as a hedonic set point. In a nutshell the theory states that the majority of people will return to a base line of happiness after experiencing a brief increase due to an external event.

So what does this mean in everyday life?

Losing weight will make you healthier but not happier.

Making more money will make you wealthier but not happier.

Nicer cars, bigger houses, designer clothing, might make you fit in with certain groups or more popular but not happier.

Having children…this one is really interesting. Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness looked at several studies and found that children give adults many things, but an “increase in daily happiness is probably not among them.”

So what do we do now? Do we stop pursuing, chasing, working towards accomplishments? I don’t think so. However, maybe we take pause and ask ourselves why we want what we want? Is it just to make us happier or do we have deeper motivations.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.