Is the brain hardwired to earn satisfaction and happiness?
I read an article that asked and answered the question about whether people who won the lottery were happier or less happy after their win.
The author of the article concluded that lottery winners and others who get their money without working for it did not get as much satisfaction from their cash as those who earn it.
A study conducted at Emory University measured the brain activity in the stratum – the part of the brain associated with reward processing and pleasure. The study rewarded one group of volunteers for their efforts.
Nothing was required of the second group, but they were rewarded anyway. The brain study results revealed that the brains (the stratum) of the volunteers who had to work for their reward were more stimulated.
When pausing to reflect upon the article, I realized that we really do not need a study to prove this point. I have often found myself tired, but with a sense of satisfaction, when I have put mental and/or physical effort into the accomplishment of a goal.
I have also found that those goals for which I worked seemed to hold greater value for me than those things that I gratuitously received.
If you find yourself feeling dissatisfied in life, try setting a goal and working toward it: volunteer for an organization or cause that interests you, develop a hobby, or engage in sports. It does not matter what activity you choose as long as you are putting effort into it.
There is no need for external reward for your efforts. The internal reward will be fulfilling.
For your own happiness and brain stimulation, find a need and fill it.
Affirmation for the Week:
I choose to live a life filled with stimulating opportunities. I will yield to the call to work for my happiness and satisfaction.
Have a stimulating week!
Mary “Motivator” Rau-Foster