Wisdom from Books

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Monday, March 26, 2018

The Difference between Happiness and Pleasure

The Difference between Happiness and Pleasure

Man is inherently desirous of happiness. We all want to become happy; without happiness, human existence may become worthless and meaningless. But the continuous quest for happiness is elusive and evasive, just like chasing the wind.

In the human quest for happiness, many choose to avoid unhappiness with distractions—such as going on a vacation, throwing a party, buying an expensive dress, if they have the money; or simply taking alcohol or drugs. But avoiding unhappiness is self-delusional, an unrealistic approach to attaining happiness.

It is important to know the difference between happiness and pleasure.

Pleasure is having fun at a party, the excitement of new experiences, the thrill and passion of sex, or the delights of a fine meal. They are all wonderful life experiences to be cherished and cultivated by any individual, but they are only life pleasures, not human happiness.

The truth of the matter is that all our wonderful life experiences are only to be enjoyed, and then to be let go of, just as a delicious meal is to be enjoyed, savored, and then to be digested, and ultimately eliminated from the body. Therefore, any life pleasure is fleeting and must be so—if it is to continue to please again in the future.

Happiness, on the other hand, may be less fleeting and more enduring than pleasure; but, still, happiness never lasts forever because nothing in life is permanent, and every thing remains only with that very moment, whether it is happiness or pleasure.

Just remember this: Happiness and pleasure are life experiences to be enjoyed, cherished, and remembered—but they do not last forever.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Read my most recently published book The Happiness Wisdom to find out how you may become happier. Get your own happiness recipe.

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