Pleasure vs. Well-being

I listened to this amazing podcast by Brooke Castillo about pleasure vs. well-being. She’s saying that false pleasure is a temporary high. It’s something that gives us a dopamine spike. Things like sugar, drugs, pornography, anything highly concentrated. The problem with this is two-fold. First, you have to use more and more of the false pleasure to get the same feeling. Second, most of these have negative long-term consequences.

I was teaching the children at church one time about short-term and long-term consequences. We had a stick and on one end had the word choices, on the other end had the word consequences. We talked about how when you pick up a stick, you pick up both ends. So often, we say things like, “You will be happy when you choose the right.” But sometimes you don’t feel that great when you choose the right…until later. What about when you tell the truth about breaking a lamp instead of lying? What about getting a bad score on your test because you didn’t study, instead of cheating? What about choosing to just feel bad instead of reaching for cookies? Or trying to see something from another perspective, instead of yelling at your husband? At first, it doesn’t feel that great to choose the right sometimes.

This is how I understand well-being vs. false pleasure. It’s making your choice based on how you want to feel in the future, not how you want to feel in this moment. When you choose false pleasure, you need more and more of it as time goes on to feel the same way. When you choose well-being, you get more and more true pleasure from it as time goes on. It feels great to not carry around lies, and to have the trust of other people. It feels great to have learned from a bad choice. It feels great to actually deal with your emotions rather than stuffing them down. It feels like such a relief to be able to disagree with someone without feeling so angry, or causing more harm.

In what ways do you choose well-being over pleasure?