In Dan Harris’ Finding Mastery conversation, he discussed how it’s easy to take for granted all the good things we have in our respective lives.
This is why he has a gratitude practice.
“We’re constantly in the hunt for the next hint of pleasure. We have hedonic adaptation where you can have all this great stuff in your life, but you take it for granted very quickly and bake it into your baseline expectations.”
You get a promotion; you’re so excited. You’re walking on air for a certain amount of time and then it becomes your baseline expectation and then you’re no longer excited any more.
In order to combat this tendency, before he goes to bed, he makes a list of the things he’s grateful for. Many of these things are not new and fresh or exciting and shiny.
This includes things like his son, job, wife, health, and financial stability.
He often finds himself wandering to the parts of his job he doesn’t like, but that is so peripheral compared to all the things he loves about his job. So he keeps reminding himself of that.
“A lot of us are ambitious. We are looking for the problems to solve. But in that hunt we are overlooking all these amazing things.”
Ultimately, Dan believes that reminding yourself of the stuff you are genuinely grateful for, but that you’ve forgotten about, will allow you to be a happier person.
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Dan Harris is a co-anchor of “Nightline” and the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” on ABC News. He is also the author of the New York Times best selling book: 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Actually Works.