BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 232

Review.

What is a false pleasure? A pleasure we turn to, maybe by habit, that feels good at the moment, but is not actually creating a better life for us.

“A false pleasure feels good in the moment but actually sabotages us in the long run.”

And my personal false pleasures?

  • Eating
  • Trichotillomania
  • Facebook
  • On-line shopping
  • Watching shows
  • Listening to music

And these particular false pleasures are not inherently bad. But there is something better. There is a fuller joy, a fuller life-experience available to me.

What “need” do I think I am meeting with these false pleasures? My need to be soothed. My need to create. My need to problem solve. My need to connect.

“All of those (needs and) desires that live within us are part of the human experience… Your desires, your interest, your urges, are trying to drive you towards your best life. They’re part of what drives us to be better, to create a better world, to invent, to grow…

And if you stop trying to satisfy them with false pleasure, then you will find your best life on the other side of it. Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Are you willing to be patient with it?

…And if you’re willing to go through the discomfort of cutting out the false pleasure, then what’s available is 10 times better. I promise you!”

What joy would be available to me if I were to give up my false pleasures? Back to the list:

  • Eating – Rather than “needing” a distraction from whatever things I don’t want to be doing at the time, what I really need is management skills. I need – and it would serve me well to learn how – to manage my thoughts surrounding things I find I want a distraction from. That skill would serve me much better than a pack of peanut butter M&Ms, right? THE JOY OF MANAGING MY THOUGHTS AND MY EMOTIONS SURROUNDING MY RESPONSIBILITIES.
  • Trichotillomania – Studies show that those with trichotillomania pull at or pull out their hair as a soothing mechanism. Does it really soothe, though? No. It is a false pleasure. If soothing is what my brain is seeking, let me find a better way, a more long-lasting way to soothe myself. And that skill will, again, serve me better and longer, and improve my life 100 times better than pulling at my hair. THE JOY OF A FULL HEAD OF HAIR WOULD BE THE CHERRY ON TOP. BUT EVEN GREATER WOULD BE THE JOY OF BEING ABLE TO SOOTHE MYSELF.
  • Facebook – Looking at Day #82 we learn that the pleasure we are seeking by using social media is usually connection. We need to connect. What is available to me if I use a true-er way of connecting to others? True-er relationships, right? THE JOY OF TRUE DEEP CONNECTIONS WITH OTHERS.
  • Shopping – If I am using shopping as a pleasure to comfort me when other more desired pleasures are not an option, then what is the “real thing”? What “need” do I have that I am seeking to meet? Comfort. Satisfaction with my closet. Adrenaline rush. These can all be met in much more mature ways, right? Connection with others. Intentional thought-work around the current options in my closet. THE JOY OF CONNECTING, AGAIN. BUT ALSO THE JOY OF BEING FREE FROM THE WORLD’S OPINION OF WHAT I (OR MY CLOSET) SHOULD LOOK LIKE.
  • Watching shows – When I watch a show, I feel some satisfaction at the end of the show. Like, “We did it! We solved the mystery!” Or, “We did it! We won that election!” Or maybe, “We did it! We won the boy’s heart!” Do you see where I am going with this? “We” didn’t do it at all. And if “doing it” is the need that I am seeking to meet by watching a show, then I need to know that it is absolutely available to me to “do it” for real! I can solve a mystery myself. I can accomplish a big goal. I can improve on my relationships. And when I do it in “real life”, isn’t that 10 times better than the fleeting feeling of accomplishing something through a television character? THE JOY OF SOLVING MY OWN PROBLEMS IN MY OWN LIFE. THE JOY OF DOING THE “REAL THING”.
  • Listening to music – What is available to me? It is available to me to BE the music! That takes commitment. That takes work. That feeling, though, of creating music, is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. THE JOY OF CREATION.

“Achieving something in the real world, overcoming a real world challenge, (creating something in the real world), is so much better.”

Our brains want our false pleasures. They are pleasurable, right? That’s okay. Don’t avoid thinking about it, don’t get down on yourself for wanting it. Don’t get discouraged when you struggle to change that habit. It’s okay. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. It’s okay to not give our brain what it wants.

“‘I do want this, but I want something else more… There’s something better available to me on the other side of this. I wonder what it is.'”