What is “true pleasure” in life?
Is true pleasure buying a lot of stuff? Having a lot of sexual pleasure? Is true pleasure always doing creative work? Is true pleasure spending time with your loved ones and family?
For everyone, “true pleasure” is going to be different.
For me, real “pleasure” isn’t positive “feel good” emotions. Rather, I see pleasure as a negative concept.
For example, pleasure for me is the following:
- Not having physical pain in my body
- Not having mental pain in my mind
- Not regretting the past
- Not doing things I don’t want to do
- Not spending time or energy with people I don’t want to
The problem of seeing “pleasure” as just an emotion or a feeling is this — the standard concept of “pleasure” is feeling “happy”. But that sensation is just hormones rushing to our brain (serotonin, dopamine, etc). But we can feel these same pleasures by taking heroin.
Another way I feel pleasure is being actively engaged in creative work. This means being in a state of “flow” — undisturbed concentration, where you are pushing your creative limits to the upmost of your ability. It is when you are flowing with ideas, and you feel invincible. It is when you no longer think of your “self”, and when time flows by without you noticing.
I feel a sense of “flow” when I am writing (like I am doing now), when I am lifting weights at the gym, when I am reading books, when I am socializing with my loved ones, when I am teaching, or when I am making photos.
So one better way to find “pleasure” in life is to try to seek this state of “flow” as often as you can.
That means killing distractions. Turning off your phone, wifi, and saying no to things you don’t want to do. It means giving yourself the opportunity to do creative work, which you were born to do.
The more “false” pleasures you remove from your life, the more you will truly live.
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