The Hedonic Treadmill of Reading

The Hedonic Treadmill is an idea in psychology that if you keep busting your ass, you’ll be happy one day. Except that, for each “improvement” you make, you don’t feel any different. That’s because you’ve erroneously assumed the end result matters. If you drive a certain car, date a level-10 girl, or make a million dollars – then you’ll be happy.

You won’t.

Getting things, achieving status, and checking off items from the bucket list are boring. It’s the journey that’s exciting.

As readers, we’re running on the Hedonic Treadmill. We assume that once we’ve completed certain books, we’ll have all the answers. And then we close the cover on that last page and don’t feel much different. We’re not smarter, more capable, or more interesting. We’re just us.

And that’s because we assumed that reading the book would solve our problems. We forgot that it’s the journey that matters – the process of reading slowly, taking notes, and applying the ideas.

One idea I find helps me to slow down, is to Read The Introduction of technical books.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’ve read the book. What matters is your execution along the way.

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