The problem with best

Say you trekked through the Sar Pass in the Himalayas and you enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, it was the best trek of your life.

Does that trek now become a benchmark? When you go on another lovely trek, would the thought, ‘It’s great here, but it isn’t like Sar Pass’, cross your mind? What if you trekked through the Sar Pass a second time? Would you think of how ‘It’s lovely, but it isn’t like the first time’?

What does it mean to say that a particular trek was our best trek? Does that mean every other trek is in someway inferior? Isn’t it ironic that your best trek has now diluted your experience of trekking as a whole?

Our ‘best’ experiences in the past creep into our consciousness and steal from the present. Like a spiraling tax rate, it collects its share of whatever we experience right now. We call this tendency of the mind the hedonic treadmill.

Given that is how our mind works, why do we agonize over how we are never truly satisfied?

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