I was asked this provocative question during the past weekend, and it is something I find wickedly interesting to explore. If I were to ask you what pleasure is to you, would you have to think about it before giving me an answer? Could you tell me how you measure pleasure?
My private clients go through an exercise where they describe in great detail what their dream lives look like. If we are creating your leadership legacy or your business plan, we may as well create it so you will find pleasure once it comes true.
The reason I ask what you want is because I believe it is imperative that you know the level of happiness or pleasure you would get from achieving your goals. Happiness tells your brain that you have achieved what you are looking for so it can stop searching for something more. This enables you to be more present and find more enjoyment in what you have right now. And please remember, happiness is a choice.
Here is how the exercise works. In my book Happy Woman Happy World, I describe it as the Goal Paradox. It is one of three paradoxes I have identified that boycott our happiness. The Goal Paradox says we set out to achieve a specific goal, and when we do finally get the promotion or land that big job, instead of giving ourselves a big pat on the back we notice we are still ten pounds over our desired weight and still can’t afford a red corvette. We keep postponing actually enjoying our achievements to sometime in the future—a time that is vague and perpetually elusive. In the end, we never allow ourselves to be happy because the minute we accomplish something worth celebrating, we are off setting more goals feeling dissatisfied we haven’t achieved those ones yet. It’s a wild goose chase through an exhausting endless loop.
Hence my question: How do you measure pleasure?
Let’s figure this out together. If you’re game, I suggest taking a look at the following four areas and scoring where you are at on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not happy at all and 10 being in that blissful state of pleasure that makes you giggle with joy just thinking about it.
- Me (how you feel about your weight, your looks, your self-care, and your spiritual development)
- Career (how you feel about where you are in your career, your business, or your education)
- Family & Friends (how you feel about your personal relationships)
- Love (no explanation needed here)
Next, identify what would make you enjoy each of these four categories more. The trick is that I want you to pick only one thing for each, a small goal you can achieve.
For example, if you are single your small goal could be to date more often. If you are dating, maybe you want a committed relationship. If you are in a committed relationship, you could identify the next step you’d like to take.
When it comes to how you feel about yourself, what can you do to feel even a little more satisfied with your emotional or physical self? Maybe it’s losing a pound or two over the next week or going to the gym two days in a row.
Once you have identified the next step that will give you more pleasure or greater happiness, write down how much your score will increase when you achieve this immediate next goal. Does your three move to a four or six?
My point is that pleasure is measured based on what YOU want in life, and it involves allowing yourself to acknowledge your little wins.Little, consistent wins lead to big ones—in your career, your personal life, and beyond. And this is how you can start to measure your pleasure!
I’d love to know how this works for you, so please leave me a comment!