The Myth about Pleasure – Does it lead to Lasting Happiness?
Today is Happiness Happens Day! Thought I’d make an attempt to demystify a common myth about pleasure and happiness.
People have this belief that their lives could be improved purely by indulging in pleasure-filled activities that can be often be purchased for money. Yes, many of these activities do provide immediate pleasure and alter your mood. They tend to, however, create moments filled with exhilarating highs but moments that don’t last very long.
It can almost be characterized similar to being addicted to something that completely absorbs all the senses. People gain pleasure from enjoying food, sex, exotic vacations, exciting thrills, entertainment, etc. However, the instant gratification sought through external sources typically satisfies only our ego. Many times, they do not pan out the way we expected them to and therefore are often accompanied with disappointment.
Pleasure is often believed to be the means to happiness. So, we chase these pleasure-filled activities one after another only to artificially increase our perception of happiness. In fact, the more money we have at our disposal, we tend to more easily fall into this trap. Unfortunately, most who engage in this method experience a huge let down once the event concludes. We get on the proverbial roller coaster ride.
In 1986, as soon as I found my first job, I started to eat out every day and spent my evenings with friends or strangers spending a lot of money in an attempt to enjoy life. After about 3 months, it got old. While I did have some fun, it was mostly shallow and the only lasting residue was a big credit card bill.
People can line up activities back-to-back to seek pleasure and completely engage their senses and mind but what happens when it is all over – a sense of emptiness similar to a crash after a binge. They usually fall further below their normal level of joy or their base state of happiness. These activities are sources of pleasure but do not necessarily generate happiness. They provide an environment for ‘playing happy’ but not inherently ‘being happy’.
Pleasure and happiness do not originate from the same source. While pleasure usually comes from external sources, happiness is mostly internal. There is a pedestal of inner joy that people can have and access through inner awareness. Acknowledging and accessing this source can bring a profound sense of fulfillment and joy. It is rather effortlessly gained once the source is recognized.
“Happiness is a bliss that’s ever-present in people and is the nature of our very being.”
Practice raising your inner awareness in a fun way with the PIG and the APE. Visit my web site to learn more www.krishnapendyala.com or my book Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing SUCCESS and true Happiness.