April 26, 2009

Happiness: A State of Being

There's a big difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure stems from immediate gratification of something that tends to be superficial (i.e. new clothes, gadgets, a successful hookup, whatever). On the other hand, joy, which I personally prefer any day, comes from a sustained happiness that occurs as a result of a good life -- usually from appreciating little daily happenings that might typically run by you without you taking notice (a good friend, quality weather, the trust and respect of your colleagues).

I don't know if there is an answer to which is better (except I thought I did when I started writing this post), but what I do know is that for more people than not, pleasure is not sustainable. It often leads to lows that might not need to be dealt with if the focus were more on overall happiness (aka joy).

The thing about pleasure is that it's nice, but only in moderation. In excess, it loses its ability to be thoroughly appreciated. Unless you're someone like Tucker Max, chances are, pleasure won't do IT for you (whatever it is) all the time. Funny enough, though, it's what most of us seek more than anything. We want new clothes. We want more girls/boys. We want more skin-deep relationships.

It might be a redirection of focus that could make all the difference. The thought, "Will this actually fulfill me? Will I be joyful after this?" might sway many decisions. It's one of the reasons I practice a primarily raw foods lifestyle. Sure, fries, ice cream, bagels and all that jazz provides me that pleasure, but in the long run, I will be happier with myself if I eat healthier foods.

Consider your lifestyle. Are you seeking pleasure OR are you living joy?

Love you,

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