The Anticlimax of Pleasure

I love to watch TV. It’s my favorite pass time, especially series with long episodes. I kept awake for days under the spell of the series ‘24’ (if you have not seen 24, sell your phone and buy the complete season). Jack Bauer became my idol and I changed my ring tone to CTU phone dial tone. Movies are just my thing. So you can imagine my heartache when I heard of the death of thirty-one year old Cory Monteith who
played Finn in the musical series ‘Glee’. Although not a huge fan being a hard core action or comedy kind of guy (dance movies ain’t macho enough for me), Cory’s death was nonetheless a tragedy and a huge loss to all TV lovers. Cory died of a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol in a hotel room far from home, family or friends. More like a bum on the street than a world acclaimed movie star with fans in their millions. It begs the question, what would make such 'bright lights' be driven to such despair and depression that they begin to seek the aid of substances to help them feel alive. Meanwhile, they have at their disposal every possible resource a human person can desire.

 So we see countless celebrities in different fields, struggling with issues you would have sworn they should not be dealing with by the very nature of their success. We wonder why superstar successes should struggle with substance abuse, depression, alcoholism, suicidal thoughts, and all manner of life depriving issues. We watch them blossom and then self destruct as if to say to us that ‘all the work and achievements were not worth it at all’, or is Higgins right? The author of the famous novel “the eagle has landed”  during an interview  was asked what he wished he knew before he became a success, his reply was “I wish I knew that when I got to the top I’d find out there is nothing there”, how sad.

Let’s look at a few points that could help us achieve the maximum potentials in us, without self destructing like our Hollywood stars.  

We don’t wear our problems on our forehead
Being a realist of some sort, I appreciate that everyone has a challenge or an issue they are dealing with, and most of us don’t wear our struggles on our forehead, (though it’ll make life much easier and less people would die without help).  We have all mastered the art of masquerading our true state and showcasing the appearance that we believe is required for the day's assignment.   Truth be told, everyone has something they are dealing with, whether we are great or small, rich or poor, famous or unknown. We each have something that is trying to snatch the sleep off our eyes. So please note, you are not alone, others have issues too.


We live in a state of illusion
Society has made us believe that the key to everlasting joy and happiness is in acquisition and achievements. The purchase of a bigger faster car, moving up the corporate ladder, fatter bank accounts, condos in the most expensive parts of the world, … the lists are endless, both the laudable and the despicable ones. The pursuit of pleasure in one way or another invariably becomes the goal of life.  The anticlimax sets in when we become 'successful' and find that we still feel empty.  That is why many of the so called successes, who have everything we hope to possess and are everything we hope to become, begin to crash the flashy cars and jump out the condo windows in defeat to a life they supposedly have conquered. Success in life is not in the acquisition of property or achievements of feats.


What comes next
I came across a quote recently, by J.K Chesterton and it said “meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain; meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure”.  Who has heard of such a thing as being weary of pleasure?  His argument is that after the object of our pleasure has been achieved (fame, riches …), we are left empty. With nothing else to fill the existing void, we lose all hope.  The point is greater emphasized by Minirth and Meier in their book ‘happiness is a choice’. They claim that given a choice, most people choose happiness, but never get to find it, because they search for happiness in the wrong things. In materialism, in sex that gives only fleeting pleasures and bitter disappointments, by obtaining positions of power and all the while coming up with nothing but emptiness. On the contrary, Earl Wilson says “Always remember money isn’t everything, but also remember to make a lot of it before talking such nonsense”. Even the good book says that money answers all things. I believe that anyone who thinks money is not important, either has a lot of it, or is incapacitated and cannot accesses the values for which money can be exchanged. Money does not solve every problem, but it sure goes a long way. 


My wisdom key for life is simple; it is encapsulated in one word ‘moderation’.  It’s such a powerful concept when you get to understand its principle. I believe everything pleasurable in life is meant to be enjoyed in the right context, and to a reasonable degree. I disagree that we should not eat chocolate and sweets, I say we eat them moderately (we can’t all live on grass please), and go to the gym often. My point is this; I believe it is the excessive guzzling of pleasure that leads to such breakdowns, just the same way that overindulgence in food tends to lead to a physical breakdown.

Ravi Zacharias made three points in a talk of his that I adopted as a good judge to weigh the degree of pleasure that is right for us.

  • Any pleasure that refreshes you without diminishing your person or distracting or destroying your ultimate goal in life is a good pleasure.


  • Any pleasure that does not jeopardize the sacred right of another person in its pursuit is a good pleasure.  


  • The ultimate pleasure comes from having a relationship with God because He alone can give you pleasure without complications. Unending joy is being a part of something bigger than you, and only a relationship with God is something you can never be bigger than, ever.
Image courtesy of  knoe.com

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a writer, entrepreneur, blogger, public speaker and an all-round knowledge junkie who likes to view life from different angles.

7 comments:

  1. nice write up.

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  2. PK,GLEE is Not A Dance series o.I'm a die hard glee Fan.more like a music and highschool series!

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  3. And lest I 4get,very enlightening writeup

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    Replies
    1. My bad, thank you for the compliment.

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  4. I'm awestruck.Your blog is beautiful,well articulated,contents are so timely and soothing. I can't believe this is real.You're so on point.I celebrate you,sir.More strength

    ReplyDelete

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