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  • Thomas Bien

Chasing Lizards

Chasing Lizards

With winter weather here, my dog is deprived of one of his most cherished pastimes: chasing lizards. Is he actually happier when he catches them, I wonder, or is the fun in the chase? When he actually gets the lizard and chews on it, it makes him sick. Not much fun. It seems the process is the fun.

I am reminded of the saying that there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. Dogs can be a reminder.

Are you working on a goal or two? Finding a partner, getting a degree, buying a house? Or even just finishing some bit of work that’s on your desk? Making it to lunch?

Don’t imagine that you can only be happy at that time. For one thing, you might not notice any increase in happiness when you attain the goal, large or small. And because of something known in psychology as hedonic habituation, even if you do experience an incremental change in your happiness, it likely won’t last very long.

Such a realization is embedded in some of our familiar slogans, such as “life is a journey, not a destination?” Why are such sayings trite?

It’s because they’re true! (Hence another trite saying: “trite but true”).

Enjoy whatever lizards you’re chasing today.

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