Wrap-Up of 2022’s 100-Day Project
I felt some uncomfortable feelings upon completion of my recent 100 Day Project. Loneliness and sadness rather than the elation I felt in prior years. (Read this post to gather the backstory.) In short, my expectations about social media engagement with my project’s posts brought me disappointment. And I’ve been sitting with his wondering what and how this came to be and what I might come to understand from it.
I looked forward to my audience keeping me company as I marched my forced 100-day march of arting. But the medium wasn’t as exciting as the small collages of 2020, of 2018’s pastels and pencil, or of 2021’s watercolor pencils. This year I chose to make polaroid minis with my handwriting captions. What My inner film director thought was a brilliant idea for a project, ended up alienating my audience because without reading the post underneath, there was only the picture. I didn’t take into account that people are just skimming now. The average time spent by a visitor on my blog is 20 seconds.
What Did I Really Want? Happiness vs Pleasure?
People aren’t to blame though. My expectations are. What I wanted out of the project was connection. And what people are looking for on social media is pleasure. And I began to ask myself, what was I really looking to get from this project? Happiness or pleasure or self-trust? Since I’ve already completed this project 4 times prior, perhaps it was either happiness or pleasure. What’s the difference?
I did a little research on happiness vs pleasure. And here’s what I got from it. Happiness is internal. It is derived from gratitude and connection with community. It’s that sense of belonging we crave. Happiness comes from pride in yourself and your accomplishments. From alone time and creativity. From self-love. And from purpose.
Happiness is the relief from non-stop thinking and freedom from the monkey mind. When you disconnect from the worrisome fear driven agenda, the more you will feel the mind expending time warp effect of happiness.
Pleasure on the other hand comes from external sources entertaining the 5 senses. It is about taking and not necessarily giving. It is a short-term occurrence that produces a dopamine emitting rush from the brain.
And when pleasure is used as a substitute for happiness, it can lead to addiction.
Substituting Pleasure for Happiness
If we are feeling fearful, sad, or depressed, sometimes pleasure seeking is a quick temporary solution. But again, if it becomes the Go-to instead of seeking and implementing truer happiness, it’s effectiveness dwindles. And the dopamine rush can inhibit the serotonin high that happiness brings. Yes, too much pleasure blocks happiness.
If happiness is successfully achieved, there is a magic in the way the quietness can expand time in one’s day. There’s a sense of contentment and relief from the cessation of the anxious thoughts. And there’s a fullness where there once was emptiness. There’s a satisfaction and self-pride from having created this state.
Belief That You Are Worth Deciding Between Them
I guess the trick is in the commitment to the work that it takes to get there. And to knowing that everyone is entitled to this good feeling.
Yet, many feel uniquely undeserving and are convinced they are the very ones that do not deserve this state of being. Stuck in this belief, which mostly is created as children to substantiate the lack of need fulfillment they felt, they perpetually condemn themselves to suffering their own unworthiness. It makes sense to recreate what you believe.
And sadly, people kill themselves with “pleasure” and escape.
Happiness it would seem then, is a life and death proposition.
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