Friday, April 17, 2015

P is for Pleasure

I've heard it said that humans are motivated to either avoid pain or seek pleasure. I've also heard that avoiding pain is a much greater motivator than seeking pleasure. As a life coach, I see people avoiding pain ALL the time rather than seeking pleasure. We do the bare minimum to avoid pain (brushing teeth), but don't even put effort forth to seek pleasure. For some reason, we seem to think that pleasure has to cost money and be a big deal. And we are so busy that we lack any mindfulness to enjoy the thousands of small free pleasures all around us.

C.S. Lewis had a statement in one of his books, and I can't remember which one, about how God created so many good and pure pleasures for us to enjoy. Yet we mess around instead with the unhealthy pleasures, somehow convinced that getting drunk on a Friday night is more rewarding than getting up early to watch the sunrise and listen to birdsong on Saturday morning. And I say that as a confirmed night owl!

I am always practicing mindfulness - and I don't mean I'm actually successful - I mean that I try to be mindful at all times. For example, one morning this week a song came on the radio that my daughter and I both enjoy. When we got to preschool, I cut the car off and she protested, saying that the song hadn't finished yet. So I started the car and reached back to unbuckle her. To my great delight, she climbed into the front seat and sat in my lap while we listened to the final 45 seconds of the song. What a simple, beautiful pleasure, that cost us nothing!

What pleasures can you find in your life today?


  1. I love how you sat with your daughter and enjoyed the end of the song. I find the best pleasures come in the simple, unplanned moments.