Happiness by Renunciation
Most people find happiness through the pleasures of the senses. Very few people find happiness through renunciation (rejection of something); however, this is where the greater happiness can be found.
Removing and moderating the pleasures in our life can actually bring us…. more happiness? 🤔
Some Common Examples of Brief Happiness
Some people may think, “No way, I love going out Friday nights with my friends and closing down the bar. I’ll never limit or remove that from my life!” Happiness may be present in that moment or evening of that type of person, but are they truly happier the next day?
In a lot of cases, many people may overindulge in drinks during a night out. In the moment, the pleasure of taste and “taking off the edge” may give them a sense of happiness.
Will that be lasting though?
For those truly seeking betterment of their self, body, and spirituality, here is another question worth pondering:
Would you experience a longer feeling of happiness by overindulging the senses for a brief time, or would your happiness continue longer into the next day (and beyond perhaps!) if you had some self restraint and only had a couple drinks (or none!)?
Would you enjoy the next day more if you didn’t have a hangover? 🤔
In a similar and even more common example is when people overindulge in food. An amazing meal and exquisite taste can often times drive the consumer to overindulge. Happiness and pleasure that is derived from the taste of food drives our brain to seek more (happiness). The brain attempts to find the simplest, most direct, and most recent avenue to that feeling of happiness, which in this case was the sense of pleasure in taste.
Then someone mentions dessert! Most people figure, “Why not?” and decide to eat an oversized piece of cake for example. Although the pleasure from the dessert’s taste may leave you craving for more, afterwards you may think or say, “Ugh, I ate way too much.” The question again would be:
Physically, do you feel more lasting happiness for choosing to indulge in the cake or by refusing the cake?
How about mentally?
Refusal and removal can bring more lasting happiness.
Happiness is Moderation and in Moderation
As cliché as it sounds, a true path to happiness is moderation. Not many people can find pleasure in always renouncing and abstaining from appealing things to the senses. Art, music, our favorite, meal, sex, exercise, etc. are all things people may find enjoyable in varying degrees. Shunning these things as “bad” is not the goal. Additionally, we cannot let our desires consume us uncontrollably. We should be somewhere in between these two extremes. This is what some call “the middle path.” Happiness in moderation is just as key.
Finding the appropriate balance and moderation in our earthly pleasures can lead us to the most lasting and most enjoyable happiness we have ever experienced.