The Hedonic Treadmill: Time to Stop Comparing.

Fitness girl running on treadmill

It’s close to midnight. It’s been a long day, and all you want to do is check your social media before dozing off for the night. You grab your phone from the bedside table, and start to scroll down your Instagram feed. One girl that you “know” from Instagram alone has just arrived in Cancun on vacation. A high school acquaintance has just posted another transformation Tuesday photo and detailed her weight-loss journey as a way to inspire. A stranger that you’ve never known has just uploaded a photo of her perfectly designed bedroom—with fluffy pillows, accents, and wall deco.

We survive in a culture that embraces comparison. We look to what others are doing in order to set standards for ourselves. We use the word “enough” too much. “Good enough”, “pretty enough”, “skinny enough”, “smart enough”. Enough for who? Enough for what? What are we measuring ourselves up against? Can you ever possibly be “enough” of anything? You cannot achieve happiness alongside comparison. There is no room for both.

The more success you achieve, the more your expectations and desires rise in tandem. Your long-term happiness level never increases, because you are experiencing what is known as the hedonic treadmill. Your pursuit of happiness is exactly what is blocking your chances at it.

There is no use comparing yourself to others. There will always be somebody who is more pretty than you, more smart than you, more giving than you, more rich than you, more lucky than you. But one thing’s for sure, there will never ever be anyone in this world who is more you than you. You are special and unique. You are fortunate. You are something to be proud of. You need not strive for anything that is not you.

xx allie


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