Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Adaptation Effect

Have you ever noticed how we all become used to our regular circumstances, state, situation, whatever you want to call and and thus take it granted! Regardless of how extraordinary something is, it eventually becomes the ordinary. Even worse, the more used to a circumstance we become, the more our attention turns to what's wrong with it.

For example, when I got my new car I was enamored by it. I always wanted to drive it, I kept it perfectly clean, got the oil changed every 3,000 miles and always kept it crazy clean. It was such a special car that I was very thankful to own. That all didn't list very long. I got used to it. It became the norm. Because it's human nature, I can guarantee this occurs for almost everything you're surrounded by, both material and non-material. Your house, car, job, jewelry, body, and even your significant other.

A book that I'm currently reading notes, "It's a vicious cycle. At first we feel thrilled and blessed -- then we start to adapt, but remain somewhat pleased -- later, as we completely adapt, we take the situation for granted with little notice or thought -- and finally dissatisfaction creeps in, as our attention begins to focus more on the lacks and shortcomings the situation affords."

The book recommends counting our blessing on a regular basis. Well, right, but there must be something else...something more

So my do you counter this tendency? Do you have any recommendations or tips? I have my own ideas that I’ll share in another post.


Anonymous said...

one thing that I do is daily prayer. It reminds me that there is something greater than all of us here on earth, and it forces me to pray for everything going on in my life whether it's good, bad, or simplistic like a nice fall day. It gives me time to reflect and ponder what is really going on in my life, and hopefully forces me to work harder in areas of need. Hope this helps, good intro to the convo, keep it comin.

Anonymous said...

I think that kind of degeneration is seen a lot in marriage and long term relationships. Often we start to take for granted all of the things people do for us on a daily basis. This is one reason why marriage workshops are becoming more popular.

So one recommendation I have is something as simple as saying "thank you" for the things that are done for you. This could be passing a plate at the table or picking something up on the way home. I'm always teaching children to say 'please' and 'thank you' but some where over the years we grow out of it. And by the time we are adults we seem to have forgotten our manners. I think you might be surprised at the difference it makes.

Chris Rako said...

Both are great thoughts. Something to think about, for sure...Thanks for the comments.