What is a pleasure junky, you ask? A pleasure junky is a person always seeking happiness in short-term, feel good ways. A pleasure junky would choose junk food over good health, casual sex over a committed relationship and impulse spending over long-term saving. A pleasure junky wants to feel good most of the time and looks for things outside him or herself to supply those good feelings.
Look at these three questions to see if you would be considered a pleasure junky:
- Do you find yourself making long-term goals and then sabotaging them by not taking the required action to accomplish them? An example would be deciding you want to pay off your credit cards on an accelerated plan but you keep buying things you don’t need and make payments substantially less than you had planned. Another example might be you have a diet plan that includes only eating when you are hungry. However, you find yourself often making plans with friends to go out to eat and you find yourself snacking when you are bored, lonely or anxious or as a reward to yourself.
- Do you find yourself frequently needing to reward yourself in order to feel good about yourself? Do you often do things you have told yourself you wouldn’t do? For example, do you reward yourself with a new outfit for weight loss when you promised yourself you would wait until you went down two sizes instead of one? Do you reward yourself with a hot fudge sundae when you have lost a certain amount of weight?
- Do you find yourself often seeking pleasure in things outside yourself? Do you look toward people, places, things and accomplishments to make you truly happy? Are you waiting for the right relationship, your children to be grown, your advance degree, your house to be paid off or your retirement to be happy? Do you drag yourself through the week waiting for the pleasures of the weekend?
People who are looking to be truly happy have to complete the job from the inside out. Authentic happiness does not come from people, things and accomplishments. Happiness comes from how you are in the world. Happiness is generated from your core when you live in the moment by being fully present, are grateful for what you have and have the desire and ability to find the gift or the lesson in all things. That is the key to being authentically happy.
You will never achieve true happiness by being a pleasure junky. Let’s look at each behavior individually.
- Live in the Moment: Much is said about living in the moment but how do you actually do it? You need to become conscious, guarding against thoughts of the past or future and constantly bring yourself back to the current moment, which is all there really is of reality anyway. Most of us waste our “now” moments regretting or reminiscing about the past or worrying or planning for the future. When you engage in those activities, you miss the only real moment you have-right now.
- Live in Gratitude: No matter what is happening in your life, living in gratitude is possible. As my friend says, “Any day above ground is a good day.” As long as you are still here, you can find things to be grateful for. Start with being grateful for the air you breathe, the sunshine on your face, the rain that nourishes growth, your shelter that protects you from the elements. Once you start with the little things, you can easily generate to the bigger things. Instead of being upset about the money you owe, be grateful you have a credit line to have it available to you. Instead of being angry with a friend, be thankful to have friends in your life. Instead of wishing for a better job, be grateful to have the one you’ve got.
- Find the Lesson or Gift: No matter what happens to you in your life, if you have the mind to look for it, you can find a lesson or a gift. Growth comes from pain. What terrible thing has happened to you in your life and what was the positive gain you received from it? My husband died at 37 years-old but I had the gift of being able to say goodbye and my children had the gift of his time after he stopped working. You can find the positive in all situations if you have the mind to seek it.
In order to find authentic happiness from the inside-out, you must be willing to avoid some moments of pleasure. You need to monitor yourself to isure you are living in the moment, living in gratitude and find the lesson or the gift. Recognize that happiness is not elusive at all. It lives inside of you and you can have access to it whenever you want. You just need to accept that it is there. The process of Inside Out Empowerment can show you how.