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Propositions — continued
6. Pleasure and happiness are distinct. Pleasure is one of three necessary components of happiness, along with the absence of displeasure, and satisfaction.
…happiness and pleasure, though frequently confused, are not the same…. …happiness is made up of three distinct but complimentary strands… Pleasure … means feeling good; it is signified by the presence of positive emotions like joy, contentment, pride or affection. The absence of displeasure refers to the absence of pain or unpleasant emotions like sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, guilt or shame. Satisfaction, the third element of happiness, means judging, on reflection, that you are satisfied with your life in general and with specific aspects of it, such as your personal relationships or career. Satisfaction can come from believing your life has meaning.”10
7. While pleasure should not be confused with happiness, people cannot be happy without pleasure.
Happiness … comes in many different flavours, each comprising a different blend of three core elements. To be truly happy, you need at least a little of each.11
8. Pleasure may be the most attainable component of happiness, the most modest in ambitions.
Cheap and Cheerful #9, 2009, neon and glitter pen, 11.625 x 7.75 inches / 29.5 x 45 cm. Produced in the Breathe Residency at Chinese Arts Centre. more info
I characterize satisfaction as a high ambition because it requires a sense of self-efficacy, impulse-control and sustained behaviors. I characterize the absence of displeasure as a moderate ambition, because, as we have already established, negative emotions and experiences are common and powerful; to abate them requires emotional intelligence and willpower. Pleasure, however, is a modest ambition. As pleasures are necessarily fleeting and self-limiting, modest pleasures will do just as well as grand ones.
10. Martin 148
11. Martin 148