Monday, October 16, 2006

diminishing returns

Have you ever heard of the “Law of Diminishing Returns”? It is an economic principle… but Tim Elmore was talking about how it applies to this pursuit of happiness thing.

The “Law of Diminishing Returns” says: Each time it will take more, in order to get the same effect. In other words, “The more you get of something…the less you’ll appreciate it.”
-The more candy you eat, the less you’ll enjoy it.
-The more time you have to just relax, the less you’ll enjoy it.

Like this picture I found. This dude thought, “A little hamburger is good. A gargantuan hamburger is even better!” But, not true. If he ever finishes that thing, he’ll never want to have another burger in his entire life. (And what’s the deal with the helmet?!)

Or here’s another classic example. You meet a girl (or a guy) and you think, “They’re so cute. I just wish I could talk with them. If we could just talk, my life would be complete.”

So you talk, and then after you’ve talked a few times you think, “If we could just hold hands. Holding hands would be the ultimate.” And so you go to that scary movie and sit in the dark and think, “This is awesome. Holding hands makes me all tingly inside”.

But after a while, holding hands isn’t quite as exciting and you think, “If we could just kiss.” (And it keeps going…but you can fill in your own blanks!)

You see the problem, right? The goal is always changing. You keep going farther and farther and (bam)… before you know it you end up in places you never intended to go. That’s the “Law of Diminishing Returns”. It says, “If it takes this much to give you the 'feeling' this time…next time it’ll take even more to get the same result.”

That’s how ADDICTION starts, isn’t it? I need a little bit, then a little bit more, and a little bit more. And it’s never enough.

When we look for contentment somewhere out there over the horizon, it’s an elusive goal. You’ll never find it.

But I am so thankful for the peace of God. He wants to give us joy from the inside out. Our contentment can’t be based on circumstances. In the good and in the bad, I will choose to be content (at least until the next time I forget)!