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The #1 Reason Why We Want More And More (And More)

more more never enoughThe #1 thing that holds people back from having a smoothe-as-honey lifestyle, where you can just get up, feel great, and connect with other people in meaningful ways, is…

(Drum roll)

Not being grateful.

You can have all the money and achievements in the world. But, if you are grateful for nothing, it’s like no matter what you make or do, life simply will not get any better. It’s like everything falls into the black hole of things we take for granted.

This is one of the reasons why we end up striving for more in our lives. More friends, more money, more status. Because how can you ever have enough if you don’t appreciate what you have?

And you know what?

I think that’s a deep shame. Especially because most of us (in the Western world) should be grateful for our lives in a way that’s almost apologetic.

And yes, we get used to things so easily. We take our luxuries for granted. We take the streets we walk on for granted. And at times, we even take our spouse’s love for granted.

Psychologists call this concept ‘hedonic adaptation’ and it’s a bitch if ever there was one.

And you know what’s the saddest part? (and after this I’ll stop preaching)

In getting used to the wonderful things in our lives, we are falsely assuming they will last.

Newsflash: they won’t.

Nothing will.

So Seph, what’s the solution?

I’m glad you asked.

The most powerful way I’ve found to overcome the danger of getting used to things is to be actively grateful for them.

So I hereby invite you to lift the veil that is clouding the wonders life has in store for you, every day again, by expressing your gratitude.

By saying to someone: “Thank you so much for doing [x], it means the world to me”.

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By jotting down 3-5 things you’re grateful for before you go to sleep.

By looking your kids deeply into their eyes and knowing that the moment will not last forever and letting that knowledge transform into a mindfulness that allows you to be fully present with them.

Because so many of us positive psychology practitioners KNOW how powerful meditation, gratitude and self-compassion are, but so few of us are actually practicing as we preach.

So let’s change that.

Right here.

Right now.

If you are with me, simply write down 3 things you are grateful for today.

[…take a minute…]

Done?

Great.

It’s gratitude month on our blog and Courtney and Joaquin have already kicked it off with two great new pieces that I highly recommend you to give a read:

and

I hope you will enjoy these and our upcoming pieces on gratitude this month.

Like Tal Ben-Shahar said:

“When you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”

And with that quote, I’ll leave you, for now.

In love and gratitude,

Seph

The myth of happiness - Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar

Frequently Asked Questions

Desiring more can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on the situation and individual. Studies have shown that a moderate level of ambition can lead to greater success and wellbeing, while excessive or obsessive striving can lead to negative consequences such as stress and burnout.

The psychology of wanting refers to the cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes involved in the experience of desire or craving for a particular object or outcome. It involves both conscious and unconscious processes and is influenced by a range of factors such as individual differences, learning, and social context.

One of the most fundamental human cravings is for social connection and belongingness, which has been shown to promote wellbeing and physical health. Research has consistently demonstrated that social isolation and loneliness are associated with negative outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, and poor physical health.

  • Cardinal, R. N., Parkinson, J. A., Hall, J., & Everitt, B. J. (2002). Emotion and motivation: The role of the amygdala, ventral striatum, and prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 26(3), 321-352.
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (2015). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. In M. Mikulincer, P. R. Shaver, J. A. Simpson, & J. F. Dovidio (Eds.), APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 3: Interpersonal Relations (pp. 57-89). American Psychological Association.
  • Kasser, T. (2016). Materialistic values and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 67, 489-514.
Comments

What our readers think

  1. Saddened

    Its easy for a man with no money to say money doesnt matter. Just like the parable of the nan with no feet said to the man with no shoes. That mind set will continue until you have nothing. Just like the first comment, high paying job, 3 homes, etc… cry me a river with your discontent.

    Reply
  2. Jony Chica

    I keep asking myself why I am not content with what I have. Even though I have a high paying job, good health, three homes and excellent health. So I stubbled into this article. It has opened my eyes and it has made me realize how ungrateful I have been. Thank you for the valuable insight and opening my eyes.

    Reply
  3. Nicky

    Thank you so much for this article! It is so so true that we will never feel satisfied if we keep on complaining about the things we dont have instead of appreciating what you have. I am grateful for: my family. my dog and his loyalty, clean and hot water, a roof over my head, access to education, good health so far, medical healthcare, a cozy bed, being able to see the sun daily, having fresh air to breathe and that all I can think of now

    Reply
  4. mick

    do you have anymore articles like this ?

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Schleimer

      Ty

      Reply
  5. Carren Dario

    This article was really inspiring. Thank you for providing valuable content. Highly appreciated 🙂

    Reply
    • Nilo Paragas

      I just wanna know when this article was published. I want to cite it as part of my study.

      Reply
      • Lucinda Allen

        Hi Nilo, it was published Apr 12, 2017. Hope this helps you! 🙂

        Reply
        • Ruogu

          Your article is very useful for my reserach paper! Thank you very much! The information is true too.

          Reply

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