Inspiring points

Reflective story from journey of life , Alam terkembang jadi guru

is pleasure equals happiness ?

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Most of people believes that happiness equals pleasure. A life that maximizes the amount of pleasure and minimizes the amount of sadness, will give someone a happy life.

But , is it happiness equals pleasure?

By nature, human will seek pleasure as much as he can reach. Simple thinking said, that with much pleasure somebody will get more happiness. Then how to find pleasure in life, becoming a standard of human purpose in this life.

The hedonic view of happiness, pleasure seeker, convinces peoples that a symbol like a beautiful rich & famous world celebrities are the paradigmatic examples of being happy: smiley, ebullient, cheerful, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, luxury goods etc.

But there are two things radically wrong with this hedonic view. The first is that smiley ebullience is highly in heritable and very hard to get more of. This trait is called “positive affectivity”. It is not very changeable, and the best that learning skills such as “savoring” and “mindfulness” can do is to help you to live in the upper part of your set range of positive affectivity. The fact that it is normally distributed means that half the population is not very smiley, cheerful, and ebullient, and not likely to become so.

The second problem with the Hollywood type view of happiness, as pervasive as it is, is a very poor intellectual provenance. When Aristotle, Greek philosopher, spoke about good life ( Eudaimonia ; greek ), he was not focused on the positive feelings of pleasure–orgasm, a backrub, and a full stomach. Rather he was concerned with the “pleasures” of contemplation–which do not reside in orgasmic thrills or sensations of warmth, but in deep absorption and immersion, a state what psychologist call “flow.” And during this state there is neither thought nor feeling. You are simply “one with the music.”. Seeking hedonic pleasure was never ending process, look like somebody running in sport treadmill, actually he go nowhere, people said that somebody was trapped on hedonic treadmill.

Three paths to happy lives

Martin E. P. Seligman, a famous American psychologist, on his book Authentic happiness explain that there are three paths to a happy life :

1,  Pleasant Life, consisting in having as many pleasures as possible and having the skills to amplify the pleasures. This is, of course, the only true kind of happiness on the Hollywood type view.

2.  Good Life, which consists in knowing what your signature strengths are, and then re crafting your work, love, friendship, leisure and parenting to use those strengths to have more flow in life.

3. Meaningful Life, which consists of using your signature strengths in the service of something that you believe is larger than you are. Really aware of a life meaning

Previously, the idea that there are three routes to happiness, two of which do not involve any felt positive emotion at all, was merely an un tested  theory. A couple years ago, scientist  from 2 University in America has conduct experiment about this matter, sent questioner about life satisfaction to around 150 volunteers . ( Chris Peterson at the University of Michigan  and Veronika Huta at McGill University )

They found that both the Good Life and the Meaningful Life were related to life satisfaction: the more Meaning, the more life satisfaction. Astonishingly, however, the amount of pleasure in life did not add to life satisfaction.

The upshot of these two studies, done independently, is that successfully pursuing pleasure does not necessarily lead to life satisfaction, but successfully pursuing the Good Life and the Meaningful Life does lead to higher life satisfaction.

Here’s the surprise:  You don’t need to be cheery to be happy, and pleasure does not equal happiness. Instead, you can focus on meaningful life, pursuits to improve your happiness.

Religion give us learning, how to get meaning of this life, what is the life purpose, what is target of life, what are human pursuit in this world and another basic philosophy question of life. By well understanding of al that matter, people can use time by time of his life, on meaningful basis, they really aware of his life, not just such as a life, human life are different from what animal life.. Animal just following, it’s desire, it’s instinct on life. Human is a noble creature of God, there’s a noble reason why God create a people born (life) in to this earth.

Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire].

And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion

( Qur’an , Ali Imran 185 )


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This entry was posted on 18/02/2013 by in Essay - concept.
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