Pursuing Pleasure

By Clinton Marquardt - Sleep & Fatigue Specialist

March 14, 2014

lifestyle management, pursuit of pleasure

In a previous article I talked about orienting your life around pleasure. Sounds a little hedonistic doesn’t it? I am not talking about being a self-centred, narcissistic person. What I am talking about is making your life fun. The average normal person experiences their fair share of negative experiences. It can be easy to get caught up in focussing on how life is hard, boring or even miserable if you focus on the negative experiences.

Two of my favourite reasons to seek out fun are to cancel out the negative and YOLO. If you balance out the negative with the positive, in a one fun experience to one negative experience fashion, you’ll be at a baseline of zero. So if 50% of every day is fun, you’ll be at a neutral baseline. This is where content people find themselves. It’s not a bad place to be, but if you ask, most content people would say they could have more fun in their lives. So I say tip the scale and seek out pleasure and avoid the pain. Move yourself from being content to being truly happy. Why put the effort into having more fun you ask? This brings me to my second reason.

You Only Live Once (YOLO!!!). Statistics Canada says that the average life expectancy for a male born between 1970 and 1972 is only 69 years, for a female it is 76 years. Let’s play with these numbers a little. If we average out 69 and 76, it gives us a life expectancy of 72.5 years. So let’s say you will live until you are 73 years old. The average post secondary graduate is 24 years old according to Statistics Canada. The graduate might spend a few years carving their career path before they start a family which happens at 29.4 years of age. Any parent will tell you that the first few years of child rearing are crazy busy and don’t leave any time for luxuries like sleep and personal development. So I’d say most people don’t start contemplating issues like whether they are content or happy and having fun until after about 35 years of age, when children start school and parents have a bit more time for thinking about their lives.

Now let’s look at the years at the other end. The Heart and Stroke Foundation says that most people spend their last 10 years in sickness, disability and immobility, hardly a fun life. Add 10 to 35 and you get 45 years that fly by without focussing on having a fun life. This leaves us with only 28 years of our 73 that could be focussed on having fun. If you are having fun only 50% of the time, this means you will only have 14 fun years out of your 73. This gives you a life that is only 20% fun. The other 80% is a drag. This puts it into perspective for me, and gives me all the reason I need to put the effort into having more fun. I will only live once, and I want it to be a fun and pleasurable experience.

Fun on the road

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