Confusing Happiness and Pleasure

Happiness is a state of well-being and contentment that comes from within while pleasure is the joy we experience in reaction to special events (e.g., winning the lottery, getting a raise, a birthday dinner, etc.). 

Most humans look for happiness outside themselves through pleasurable situations, but no matter how much pleasure we experience, it will never be enough if we are not happy with who we are. 

The top five ways people attempt to be happy are by being:

·         Healthy

·         Wealthy

·         Famous

·         Beautiful

·         Well liked

None of these guarantees happiness.  The rich and famous, the beautiful and the well liked, and even those who are healthy appear to have a perfect life from an outsider’s perspective, but if you take a closer look, you will find their life has its share of challenges. 

We experience pleasure, then keep looking for the next thing/event to find pleasure … a new car, a new love, a new job, etc.  Most of us are never happy with where we are or what we have.  We keep pursuing something to fill a void within us.  If this were not true, there wouldn’t be so much depression and addiction taking place in the world today.

External conditions and events provide pleasure, but true happiness comes from within.  In order to find lasting happiness, we must have a good self-esteem and a life purpose.  We need to have a good outlook and understanding of life and how it works. 

Six tools to find happiness include:

1.      Stand strong in your beliefs, even when no one else does.  Most people don’t like to go against the status quo.  A true leader will because their belief is strong.

From time to time, you may have to adjust your beliefs to make sure they are based in Absolute Truth, not just your perception of what truth is.  Are you working for the very best and highest good for all concerned, or you working just for the self? 

Is what you want a “must have” or a “want.”  The danger comes from when we want for more than what we need.

2.      Learn to master your emotions.  Respond, don’t react.  If you don’t learn to detach from your emotions, you will drown in them.  No one can make you feel bad except you.  If you feel it in your gut (you get upset), it’s your “stuff.”  Look into the mirror.

Life is all about choices.  Choose to live a happy life instead of a miserable life.  The choice is always yours.

3.      Tap into the Attitude of Gratitude.  The more you give gratitude for something, the more you will receive of the same.  There is nothing that will shift you faster than spending 3-5 minutes in gratitude.  To appreciate more what you have in life, give gratitude.  There’s nothing better for the soul than an attitude of gratitude.

4.      Live in the moment.  Release the past, look towards the future, live in the present.  You can’t go back in time to change anything.  You can’t experience something that hasn’t happened.  Learn to live in the now.  That’s all we really have.

5.      Honesty is still the best policy!  Even when we tell a white lie, a part of us still knows we are not being truthful.  Dishonesty can damage your self-esteem because you are being dishonest with yourself.  We hurt others when we lie, and we hurt ourselves as well.  You cannot hurt someone else without hurting you.  We are all connected.

6.      Stay positive.  Life was never meant to be easy.  Earth is a school where we learn lessons.  We don’t grow through the good times; we grow through adversity. 

It’s time to stop the drama.  Drama is a childish way to get attention.  What we give out, we will get back.  

Stay positive so positive things come your way.  We create our life through our thoughts, words, and deeds.  If you don’t like your life, change it.  No one else can or will do it for you.

Many people strive to be rich because they believe money can buy happiness.  This is not true.  You are rich when you are content and happy with who you are and what you have. 

Happiness is also being in service.  There is no greater reward than the feeling of knowing you were able to help someone.  Happiness comes from being “other-centered” instead of “self-centered.”

With much love, Pat