What Ferris Bueller Can Teach You About Happiness

Human beings struggle to be happy. The major reason we do is because of something known as hedonic adaptation. Hedonic adaptation basically means that we adjust over time to our circumstances. So, you might discover a song you really like, but after you play it 100 times you stop liking it as much (or may even come to dislike it). This evolved so that we as humans continue to move forward and seek new things. Unfortunately, hedonic adaptation can make it really difficult to be happy. But, don’t worry, Ferris Bueller can teach you how to overcome it.

 

Appreciation:

There are two ways to fight hedonic adaptation: appreciation and variety. Appreciation means making a point to notice and enjoy what you have. What did Ferris do? Ferris’s motto is “life move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Throughout the movie, he does just that and appreciates what he has. He mentioned that his sister Jeanie got a car, whereas he only got a computer. Rather than lamenting what he doesn’t have, he uses the computer to make sure he doesn’t get caught by Principal Rooney.

He goes out of his way to appreciate and spend time with him best friend, Cameron, before they go off to college. Instead of thinking about the other girls he could be with, Ferris enjoys his time with Sloan throughout as well. He makes the most out of his day.

 

Variety

The other way to fight hedonic adaptation is to constantly vary your activities. This way hedonic adaptation won’t ever be able to fully set in. Ferris didn’t sit around and play video games with Cameron, he went out a did a variety of new things. He drove a ferrari…

 

Went to the top of the Sears Tower…

 

Went to the Board of Trade…

 

Went to an expensive restaurant…

 

Went to a Cubs game…

 

Went to a museum (and saw priceless works of art)…

 

and sang in a parade…

 

Conclusion

So the next time you’re feeling low, consider throwing in an old movie. Better yet, make a point to schedule some new experiences and appreciate everything that you do. You might even want to take a day off and see what your town has to offer!

 

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