Confusing Pleasure and Happiness

Our Bumbling Pursuit of Happiness


One of the biggest sources of bewilderment over becoming happier is confusing it with pleasure.

Pleasure is the fleeting joy we experience in reaction to outside circumstances. It can come from small things like eating a gooey doughnut or finding the perfect parking spot to more significant events like winning the lottery or a Pulitzer Prize.

The Top 5 Ways People Attempt to be Happy:

  1. Healthy
  2. Wealthy
  3. Famous
  4. Beautiful
  5. Well Liked

You need only look at celebrities to know none of these five conditions guarantee happiness. In our eyes, they got it all. They have accomplished what many of us are striving for. Unfortunately, many of them are living quiet (with paparazzi, not so quiet) lives of desperation.

We have loads of evidence that beauty, riches and fame aren’t necessarily a path to nirvana. Yet the plastic surgery industry is booming, get rich schemes abound, and many would give their first born to be Oprah or Brad Pitt.

Pleasure Doesn't Last

We’re doing the best we can to be happy, but are misguided. We get a new car. Bing, joy! Fall in love. Bing, joy! Get a new job. Bing, joy! But the rush of joy doesn’t last. Almost like a drug, eventually it wears off. What’s up with that?

External conditions and events can provide pleasure. True happiness is birthed through the internal workings of your own mind.

Waiting To Be Happy

How often do you base whether you’ll be happy or not, on the circumstances in your life?

"When I get this house, car, relationship, job, lose weight, get this problem is solved, get out of this marriage (the list is endless) ... then I’ll be happy." What if you could be happy while pursuing all those things you want? You can. You don’t have to wait for the ideal set of conditions.

Happiness doesn’t require that you be beautiful, rich or famous. Getting what you want isn’t even required. Find out what is.

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Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good woman - or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.

- George Burns

Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.

- Benjamin Franklin