Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Two kinds of happiness.
One kind is when we get praise, sugar, fried food, Netflix, online shopping, money, drugs, sex, social media. We are overwhelmed with these kinds of rewards in modern society when our minds are set up to crave more. In a world of abundance rich people will pay for more uncomfortable experiences as society gets richer. (Work outs, trainers, sauna, cryotherapy, triathlons) When you expose yourself to these daily dopamine hits the result is a busy mind with craving & anxiety. And as we allow these empty rewards to become reinforced habits we slowly become more and more lifeless with our lives lacking meaning. We build habits to seek a previous behavior that provided a dopamine response without examination of what or why. For healthy habit formation perform a mini-celebration (internal or external) immediately after desired behavior choices to wire for repeating the habit through dopamine release.
The second kind is worldly happiness, a reward from our evolutionary programing when we feel like we are on the right path. Humans are meaning seeking animals. Internal happiness is rewarded from being in flow: exercise, create, love, play. It clears the mind & leaves us at peace. True rewards (wealth, knowledge, love and fitness) come from ignoring others and improving yourself. Teach yourself to do things with no extrinsic value, meaning things that you know are good for you but won’t change the way people look at you. (stretching, meditation) “Our will to live is based entirely on hormonal reminders to chase various highs.” We all have varying degrees of addiction but need to determine which behaviors are the most sustainable.
Earn your dopamine.