[hedonic treadmill] Pleasure may serve as a stimulus, but it cannot guide us toward life satisfaction
In the early 1970s, sociologists spoke about the "hedonic treadmill." This term describes a shift in the focus of our attention from what we produce and create to what we consume and desire. People on the "hedonic treadmill" expect the fulfillment of their pleasures and desires to bring them happiness and satisfaction. The more they have, the more they want. The greater the pleasure experienced, the greater the pleasure still sought.
However, like a person on an exercise treadmill, the more the speed increases — the more one acquires, the greater the pleasure one experiences — the harder it becomes to step off the treadmill, and the longer a person remains in the same place, going nowhere fast. The pursuit of pleasure for pleasure's sake can readily lead to the pursuit of more pleasure, but not to enduring, lasting, satisfying happiness and fulfillment.
In the pursuit of happiness, pleasure may serve as a stimulus, but it cannot guide us toward life satisfaction.
As the Talmudic rabbis taught, "No one leaves this world with even half of his or her desires fulfilled."
Yet, certainly, the wise learn many things from their enemies; for caution preserves all things. From a friend you could not learn this, but your foe immediately obliges you to learn it. For example, the states have learned from enemies, and not from friends, to build lofty walls, and to possess ships of war. And this lesson preserves children, house, and possessions.
The present theory then must be considered to be a suggested program or framework for future research and must stand ...
It’s saying no.
That’s your first hint that something’s alive. It says no. That’s how you know a baby is starting to turn into a person. They run around saying no all day, throwing their aliveness at everything to see what it’ll stick to. You can’t say no if you don’t have desires and opinions and wants of your own. You wouldn’t even want to.
No is the heart of thinking.