I’ve written, thought, and acted on distinguishing between pleasure, happiness, and emotional reward. I like them all, but sometimes life creates situations where sacrificing one will get more of another. Knowing their differences and similarities helps you figure out how to create the optimal balance of each in your life.
For example, lately I’ve been experimenting with cold showers, although the following applies for any other SIDCHA or challenging activity. It’s incredibly important for improving your life if you prefer living to sitting on the couch eating ice cream. Everybody I tell about them who hasn’t tried them evaluates the idea of cold showers in terms of physical pleasure only. I did too before I did it — their obvious physical discomfort stands out above all other considerations if you haven’t experienced them and learned about the emotional reward they can create if you prepare your beliefs effectively.
If you didn’t know how to distinguish physical pleasure from emotional reward, you wouldn’t know you could sacrifice pleasure for reward. Then you wouldn’t realize the loss of pleasure ended with the shower at five minutes while the reward would last indefinitely, along with the skills to handle future challenges. The daunting fear of the physical discomfort dominates your thoughts and emotions so much, it drowns out any other considerations, in this case potential for personal growth and skill development.
This series helps distinguish pleasure, happiness, reward and how to use that understanding to create more of each.
Table of contents
- The Model: reward, happiness, and pleasure
- How to bring happiness and emotional reward to your life by analogy with pleasure
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