No Impact Man reports on his happiness level after ten months living the "no impact" life.
"Isn't that strange? You click off family's electricity and make them go to bed at nine every night because it's too dark to do anything else. You ban them from the elevator so they have to walk up and down nine flights of stairs. You take away their fridge so they can't keep more than a day or two of food around the house. All this and then they turn around and say it's life as usual?
Probably it feels that way because people quickly get used to almost any set of conditions. Within a few years, lottery winners and people who become paralyzed tend to return to the same level of happiness they had before their change in circumstance.
What people can't get used to, though, is the loss of one of the main factors positive psychologists find does have a lasting affect on happiness: community."
Daniel Gilbert's excellent book "Stumbling On Happiness" addresses the problem of how what we imagine will make us happy seldom does.