There are many things in life that will make us happy, but does doing those things lead to a happy life? The answer is no, so should we focus more on pleasure in our lives or purpose and does one make us happier than another?
We all enjoy many different pleasurable experiences; but one experience over and over again will most likely not leave a person happy. However, there are many people seeking out the wrong type of pleasure, or use their energy for the wrong type of purpose.
Consider some of the short term pleasures we seek out?
Eating sweets. Eating sweets can be exciting, stimulating to the senses, and indeed very satisfying and pleasurable. But eating sweets is a short term pleasure with a long-term consequence. Diabetes, obesity, cavities, can all be part of abusing a short term pleasure.
Alcohol and Drugs can enhance a good time, but when over used over it creates addictions and the inability to use in moderation. It can destroy your life, it can consume you, yet many people can ride that fine line of being a functional user only to lose money and become addicted to something that provides a short term pleasure.
Casual sex can be another pleasure people seek. What could be wrong with lots of sex you say? The loss of excitement and desensitized to the euphoria it can create. A diminishing value proposition that has sex become like a pizza. It satisfies a need until you become sexually dysfunctional.
The same can be said of working. Most people would state that their job is more purpose than pleasure, but what exactly is that purpose? Is the purpose just to make money, or is there a deeper, more rooted and worthwhile purpose? If not, what are you doing?
There is a great sense of joy and happiness associated with accomplishing things. From getting better and growing we draw immense pleasure and personal gratification and satisfaction. If we can apply this principal to other things in life we can create value and happiness in another way.
Think about working out and how you will feel when your body and health start changing and how good you will feel? How others will comment on your progress and the personal satisfaction you get from looking your best and feeling your best!
It can be addictive when you put those kind of efforts into all you do. How you invest and grow relationships, how you eat, how you work and overall how you create purpose and value in all you do. When you focus on creating value verse gaining pleasure you will find the by product of hard work and creating value will lead to happiness.
Start thinking more about pleasure vs.purpose in your life and how you can satisfy both of these elements. Chances are its time to do some changing if you really think about it.