We are in a world where the term pleasure is mistaken for happiness. A lot of people don’t know the differences between pleasure and happiness.
I knew there were differences between pleasure and happiness but didn’t know how to differentiate them. I came across a show that hosted a man called Dr. Robert H. Lustig. He opened up my mind concerning the differences between pleasure and happiness.
These difference between pleasure and happiness is very important, so as which lane of life are you on. If you are looking for lifestyle modification, then you need to know these differences because it will revolutionalize your life. You will begin to be aware of why you get a setting feeling while you engage in a particular action.
There are seven differences between pleasure and happiness
PLEASURE IS SHORTLIVED, HAPPINESS IS LONGLIVED
That’s right, pleasure is short-lived, while happiness is long-lived.
This means something that doesn’t last for a long time. a typical example of a short-lived kind of pleasure is sex, anyone that tells you that’s sex makes you happy is a liar. sex is last for a short time and can cause unhappiness for a long time.
But Happiness is long-lived
This means anything that lasts for a long time, a typical example of happiness is solving a difficult task for someone that has no hope of solving such.
Another example is giving a substance to someone that desperately needs it, of which that person can never pay you back. That’s the secret to true happiness.
PLEASURE IS TAKING, HAPPINESS IS GIVING
A pleasure-seeking individual is always on the receiving end, while happiness seeking individuals are always on the giving end.
Those that are pleasure seekers are always looking:
- For politicians that are distributing money free of charge.
- For supermarket with black Friday stickers, so as to buy things at a discounted rate.
- For the big boys in town so as to drink alcohol to stupor without paying a penny.
- Rich persons so as to beg or extort money from them.
But those that seek for happiness are always looking:
- For individuals the are weak and pained to comfort,
- For the naked to clothe
- For the prisoner to visit,
- For the homeless to bring home or shelter them in another house,
- For the sick to buy drugs for them.
These sets of happy individuals treat everyone equally whether they are rich or poor.
I have also discovered that women tend to be more unhappy than men.
Because women are more on the receiving side than men.
They are always demanding one thing or the other. That’s why women are naturally pleasure seekers, they always want to be in places were there no suffering, pain, and stress, but only pleasure and sweet delicacies.
These pleasure-seeking characteristic that is in most women, tend to make them unhappy.
A lot of them say things like “They are looking for a man that will make them happy”. They attach their happiness to a man, this is a wrong notion that has corrupted the social system of our society. Nobody is in charge of your happiness other than you. you are in charge of your happiness, what you do with is life is what determines how happy you are.
For one to be happy, be more on the giving end, avoid being on the receiving end.
Give without expecting back and you will be happy.
PLEASURE CAN BE ACHIEVED ALONE, HAPPINESS IS ACHIEVED WITH A SOCIAL GROUP OF PEOPLE
Pleasure seeker doesn’t need people around to achieve his or her pleasurable desires, they can achieve their pleasure alone, eg.
- Smoking Marijuana,
- Inhaling cocaine,
- Drinking codeine,
- Self-gratification eg. masturbation,
- Drinking alcohol to stupor, etc.
Engaging in all these will only make you unhappy,
But those that do these things think they are going to come out from their depression and become happy,
meanwhile, it deepens them into more depression and unhappiness.
On the other hand, happiness can’t be achieved alone, it requires the presence of one person or a group of individuals. it requires you to be selfless.
Self fights against the happy state of your life, you have to give up yourself and please others by placing their needs and concerns as a priority,
You have to be willing to stretch your hands to those that need your hands I.e. attention, affection, time, money, etc.
PLEASURE CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH SUBSTANCE, HAPPINESS CAN’T BE ACHIEVED WITH SUBSTANCE.
Pleasure seekers require material wealth and worldly items to achieve their pleasurable desire, eg. cars, houses, money, clothes, watch, etc.
All these don’t bring satisfaction, but happiness brings satisfaction. the moment you attach your happiness to material things, that’s no longer happiness but pleasure. After you have acquired all these wealth and earthly materials, you become unhappy and you begin to wonder what’s happening even after acquiring everything the world says will make you happy.
The truth is all these will give you pleasure, not happiness. that’s why a lot of world top billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have engaged in charity, claiming to give all their wealth to charity after they are dead, because they have come to the truth and conclusion that wealth doesn’t make one happy, but it only adds more sorrow and makes one unhappy.
Remember pleasure is short-lived and cant sustain for a long time, but happiness is long-lived.
Happiness, in turn, can be achieved without any physical substance.
it’s possible to have nothing and be happy, but its impossible to have nothing and have pleasure.
In other to be happy, material wealth has to be put aside and you begin to seek God and be a blessing to mankind,
This is the true road to happiness.
PLEASURE IS VISCERAL, HAPPINESS IS ETHEREAL
The word visceral means “Having a feeling to do something that’s not intellectual”.
Pleasure seekers are always moved by how they feel at the moment and not what the consequences maybe after the action has taken place.
for example, some may say:
- Oh, it feels good to steal that money
- Oh, it feels alright to have sex with my neighbour’s wife
- it feels sweet to torture and torment that animal or that baby.
- it feels good to smoke, etc.
They never calculate the consequences for their actions, they are after their pleasure, which will make them unhappy and bring them to damnation.
Happiness seeking individuals don’t act on how they feel, they reason with their brains, conscience, and intellect. They understand the law of causes and effects,
they understand that everything that happens today came from the actions they took in the past,
And therefore they are careful in doing anything anyhow even if their emotions are pushing them to do something contrary to happiness.
Also, those that are happy are not just intellectual in their decisions, but they are ethereal in all their ways, everything about them is unique, they are out of this world, the light coming out of them is radiating to great splendour, anytime they pass, you will sense happiness over them, they are always in a glorious sphere and because of that everyone wants to be around them.
In terms of pleasure being visceral, women are indeed more visceral than men, women are moved more by their feelings than their intellect, while men are moved more by their intellect than their feelings. it’s always advisable not to be moved so much by feelings than intellect because this will lead to a lot of regrets, depression, and unhappiness.
PLEASURE IS OF THE FLESH, HAPPINESS IS OF THE SPIRIT
Pleasure is anything that feeds the flesh, while happiness is everything that feeds the spirit. It’s as simple as that
The bible lets us know that:
Walk in the spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, these are contrary one to the other so that ye can not do the things that he would do
(Galatians 5: 16-17).
So it is to pleasure and happiness.
They contradict each other, the more pleasure you have, the more unhappy you will be, the more happiness you seek, the less pleasure you have. As I have written before,
pleasure requires substance in other to be executed.
These are the pleasures of the flesh:
- Lust of the eyes: These include being covetous to other people’s properties, lust over the opposite sex, lust over earthly luxuries.
- Lust of the flesh: These include Adultery, fornication, gluttony, etc.
- Pride of life: These include pride over your achievements, school certificates, and degrees, bank accounts, properties, and possessions. All of these will give you pleasure and not happiness.
But when you walk in the spirit, You walk in the realm of happiness.
How do I mean by walking in the spirit? You must have the following below:
- Love: An intense feeling of deep affection for your fellow humans.
- Joy: The feeling of great happiness
- Peace: Freedom from all disturbances
- Long-suffering: Having or showing patience in spite of troubles especially those caused by other people. According to the Cambridge dictionary, a long-suffering person is patient despite being annoyed or insulted regularly over a while.
- Gentleness: This is the quality of being kind, tender, soft mannered.
- Goodness: The quality of being morally good and virtuous.
- Faith: According to the Cambridge dictionary, faith Is having great trust and confidence in something or someone.
- Meekness: This is the quality of being quiet, gentle, and unwilling to argue and Express your opinion.
- Temperance: Abstinence from all alcoholic drinks and excessive eating (i.e. fasting).
These will make you happiness spring into everlasting life and your light will never go down.
PLEASURE IS DOPAMINE, HAPPINESS IS SEROTONIN
These are two biochemicals or neurotransmitters that the brain makes to communicate from one neuron to another. From the diagram, you can see that the difference between serotonin and dopamine is slightly different and almost the same chemical compositions. the only difference is in the amine and the hydroxyl functional groups. That’s how close the similarity between happiness and pleasure is, but has differences too.
Dopamine excites the next neurons, when dopamine excites a neuron to much and too frequently tend to die, the neuron has the defense mechanism in which it reduces the availability of neurons for the dopamine to excites in an attempt to mitigate the damage of the neurons says Dr. Robert H. Lustig.
When you get a hit with pleasurable substances you get a rush of dopamine all over you, this leads to the receptors on the neurons to decrease in number because the receptors are destroyed by excessive stimulation of dopamine.
you get a hit again, but there’s a little receptor to occupy, you don’t get satisfied as you do initially, so you need a bigger hit to get the same rush of dopamine you experienced initially and the receptors keep dying the more. And this process continues until it gets to a point where they’re no more receptors to occupy by dopamine. This stage called addiction because all neurons are dead.
Serotonin is inhibitory in action, it doesn’t excite the neuron as dopamine when serotonin inhibits the neurons, it slows down the neuron which in turn leads to what is called contentment which is in turn called happiness.
And there’s one thing that decreases the level of serotonin in the brain system, and that’s dopamine, which means the more pleasure you seek the more unhappy you become.
Those are the seven differences between Pleasure and Happiness, I will love you to check out the post on 7(SEVEN) CHILDHOOD ATTITUDE EVERY ADULT NEEDS TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE and also 5 TIPS TO FRIENDSHIP
These will open your mind more on the importance of being happy all your life.
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