(ix) But Mr B, with money we can afford pleasures, and pleasures make us happy.

Q. ‘Mr B, pleasures bring happiness. Someone who can afford to go skiing, or to an amusement park, or enjoy other pleasures which cost money, will enjoy life more than someone who can’t afford those pleasures.’

As pointed out in the first chapter of this book, there are the two types of happiness: the temporary kind and the core kind. When you engage in a pleasurable activity endorphins, the happy hormones, rush to your brain to make you feel good. But those endorphins provide temporary happiness, not core happiness. You experience core happiness when you are not doing anything in particular, and let’s face it: most of the time you aren’t doing anything in particular. Most of the time you are not skiing or being in an amusement park, or enjoying the opera.

Money can buy you temporary happiness, (in the form of pleasure), but not core happiness. This book is about core happiness.

‘But in that first chapter you also say that temporary happiness is important. “Life would be drab without pleasure” you say. Therefore, we do need money to be happy, even if it only provides that temporary, but important, form of happiness.’

As that first chapter also points out, if you have a strong core happiness will find pleasure in even the little things of life. You will find enough pleasure to ensure Life isn’t drab. You will manage without the skiing and amusement parks.

‘But I would really enjoy them if I could afford them.’

Sure, but to not have those pleasures means you would only be missing out on heaps of temporary happiness. Your core happiness would remain intact. I repeat: money can buy you temporary happiness, but it won’t provide core happiness. And if you have core happiness, you will manage without the bought pleasures.

‘But I love skiing.’

Yes, but you will manage without it. You might miss out on the happiness provided by pleasure, but you won’t diminish your core happiness.

 

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