October 15, 2023

The Secret To Living A Better Life – Enjoyment Vs. Pleasure

Prior to the pandemic, Julie Singer was an active and enthusiastic Mojo friend. When it was safe for LIVE classes again, Julie had a hard time shedding the pandemic funk and getting back to class. As a Philadelphia inner-city school teacher, Julie knew how much she needed Mojo for her mental and physical health, so she kept pushing herself.

The Unstoppable Julie Singer

Over six months ago, Julie’s persistence paid off. She recaptured her mojo high and was back to her ole’ self with consistent 2xs a week LIVE sessions. In fact, Julie was so happy with how good she felt, that she arranged her teaching schedule to fit with our Mojo schedule. (You GO, GF!!)

While de-stressing and getting healthy again was Julie’s #1 reason for getting her Mojo back, she was kind enough to share another fun side effect…
The other day, my husband and I were getting ready for the day. At one point, he saw me in my full glory getting dressed. He was visibly taken back, and said “Wow, that Mojo really looks good on you!”. 

Now, That’s what I like to hear! Win-Win-WIN…
Thank you so much for sharing, Julie!

What I find so inspirational about Julie’s story is the arc of her journey. Seeing the joy and skip in her step again, has been a treat to witness. 

According to Albert C. Brooks, best-selling author of “How to Build A Better Life”, Julie’s story is a perfect example of how to do it…

I learned about Albert C. Brooks a few weeks ago from an interview on CBS Sunday Mornings. In fact, I was so empowered by his take on how to build a better life, that I started transcribing it! Here are some golden nuggets: 

Brooks explained that happiness seekers can build a better life by keeping in mind a basic principle: 

Happiness is a combination of Enjoyment + Satisfaction + Meaning

A. Enjoyment Vs. Pleasure

Brooks explained that enjoyment and pleasure are terms often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Pleasure happens to you; enjoyment is something that you create through your own effort. Pleasure is addictive and animal; enjoyment is elective and human.

Enjoyment means refusing to be managed by pleasures (mindless scrolling, eating, TV binging) nor weighed down by joyless drudgery. Pursuing enjoyment over pleasure is a declaration of independence from our weaker selves.

B. Satisfaction…Brooks explains that the sense of achievement and joy we feel after a struggle is a form of lasting enjoyment that greatly increases our happiness quotient.

I enjoy going to the gym, because I know that my voluntary effort will improve my body and health. But it isn’t always pleasant, because it is strenuous and physically exhausting. This gives me a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

If I sought only pleasure, I would stay on my couch and inadvertently deny myself enjoyment, settling for a comfort that is animal, with no enduring benefits. It is a bad trade.

C. Meaning…Coherence of our experiences. Making a difference in other people’s lives. Having a reason for living. These experiences have been proven to increase lasting happiness, as well.

Lastly, Brooks emphasized that we need to accept that being unhappy at times is a fact of life. We cannot be happy unless we accept that being unhappy is part of the drill. However, we can have more control over how we feel about the unhappy events in our lives. 

With so much out of our control, control what you CAN.

 The transformation that happens, mentally and physically, by simply putting on your workout clothes and sneakers is the first step in the right direction. Your future self will thank you. 

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