The Difference Between Happiness and Pleasure

The “hedonistic treadmill” as Debbie Millman so eloquently put it in an interview with Tim Ferriss, is an apt description of the culture many of us currently live in.

Happiness is and should be the end goal of any and all pursuits we undertake.  

The problem here doesn’t lie with the goal itself but in the misinterpretation of the goals definition.

Pleasure is the momentary satisfaction we get when we get something we want.

The natural response to actively seeking out pleasure is to actively seek out more pleasure.

It feels good and so we do it again and again and again.

In doing so, we become increasingly immune to the effects of pleasure and, as a result, metabolise our purchases and experiences extremely quickly; moving onto the next thing that we think will make us happy.

I call this “Things Will Be Better When Syndrome.”

Happiness, however, is when you’re content as you are.

You don’t need or want more because you’re happy with what you have and you find pleasure in the ordinary aspects of your everyday life.

The sooner we understand the true definition of happiness, the easier it becomes to recognise and, you guessed it, the happier we’ll be in the process.  



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