In the past few days I have made an interesting observation. Everyone on the train was staring at their phones, swiping. Everyone seemed addicted to the instant gratification, everyone appeared happy, but no one appeared truly conscious. This didn’t look any different than drug addiction.
If you want happiness, you would need to know how to seek pleasure. The thing about seeking pleasure though is that everyone would tell you differently, those who sell you food will tell you to buy something delicious to eat, those who sell you clothes will tell you to buy the latest fashion of clothing, and those who sell you make-up will tell you to buy the hottest lipstick. Actually, everyone knows how to seek pleasure. But why are there people who seek pleasure and rise, yet many others seek pleasure and fall?
It seems the pleasure you seek will determine the direction of your life. If you want to be someone who seeks pleasure and rise, then I think you should at least follow these 3 principles:
Try interests that build you instead of interests that consume you.
Interests that build you might be small, but every time you do them, you will get more and more pleasure out of it, and this pleasure will last you for the whole day. This could be writing, meditating or jogging. Lets take jogging as an example. At the start it could be very hard, but every time you do it, it becomes easier and easier, and yet you get more and more pleasure out of it. Maybe you will lose the belly, then you will get a clearer mind, and then get the sensitivity to the world around you.
Interests that build you don’t just simply give you a laugh.
Don’t rely too much on your instincts.
The people who live on their instincts, are easy to pleasure, because their threshold to happiness is too low. Often, even just a little pleasure will suck them in. And the people who are more like this, are more inclined to seek pleasure based on their 5 senses. It could be from eating heavily sweetened or salted oily junk food. It could be from looking at pornographic videos. Or it could be the high from an inhale of drugs. Relying on instincts often draws out the beast inside us. The worst part is if the beast is constantly fed full, it would grow so strong that it no longer can be suppressed.
Don’t expect to solve everything with a one time effort.
Happiness = reality – expectation
When the reality is harsh and the expectation is high, it is very easy to feel unhappy. Just like winning the lottery, the higher your expectations, the less happy you are with the prize you get. If you place all your hopes on one interest to alleviate your messed up life, the easier it is to feel disappointed.
So whatever you pursue, don’t give it too high of an expectation.
We all seek happiness and pleasure. Call it alleviating stress, calming your nerves, whatever. It isn’t wrong, but ideally with a clear and conscious mind. There has been research in psychology that suggested that children are happier because their every day is different. They are almost always willing to explore the unknown. They continuously expand their comfort zone to seek happiness. But adults are different, they are use to living in their comfort zone, and will live one year like they had only lived one day. So if an adult were to live as happy as they were children, then they would need the courage to live outside their comfort zone, have the determination to take control of their lives, and maybe force themselves to get out of the warm covers of the bed to jog 10 kilometers.
Take matters into your own hands. Don’t rely on others to give you happiness. When you rely on swiping social media to give you happiness, you actually aren’t that far from being worthless.
Cherish your life. Stay away from all mental drugs.