As technology has advanced, in today’s day and age we all get to experience comforts that humans in any era before never would have imagined to have access to. Even in our individual lives, if we zoom out and see, we’ll realize that we have come a long way.
But at the same time, we can’t deny the phenomenon of hedonic adaptation. No matter how much success, progress or luxury we achieve, we always end up taking it for granted.
The Internet has made communicating with other people, whether they be our colleagues, friends or loved ones, so easy. It has truly made this world a smaller place. It’s easy to talk with your cousin who lives thousands of miles away and have meaningful interactions, or to conduct conference calls and share work files with team members that are scattered all across the globe. Still, how often we complain when the Internet goes down or when our computer starts acting up.
The same is true with airplanes. No matter how many comforts they provide now with better seats, more entertainment and food options, and the overall ease of the ticketing process, we still complain when we don’t get a window or aisle seat (based on your preference), or when our flight gets delayed.
Comfort escalation comes with its own consequences. And that’s why the yogis, Stoics, Buddhists and minimalists try their best to not get attached to the various comforts that are easily available to them. They know that when we constantly crave for more, it only leads us to despair and disappointment.
Happiness is a state of mind. When you feel satisfied with where you are and what you have, you naturally become happy; instead of giving away your personal power to the external surroundings, you retain it within yourself.
In spite of being one of the richest people in the world, Warren Buffett still lives in the same house that he bought in 1960 and still drives a Buick because he’s happy and satisfied with them. Living a simple life doesn’t stop him from winning big and giving away large sums of money to people in need, that’s something to think about.
Seeking comfort and luxury is not entirely bad, but beyond a certain point, it is futile and doesn’t serve us anymore. We just need to figure out our own thresholds and stay away from the endless pursuit of more.
Instead of complaining when the WiFi is down, or when you don’t get your desired food and beverage options on an airplane, count your blessings and simply be grateful for how much you already have. We have more than we think we have, we just need to become aware of this truth.