Do you want to live life on the high line of happiness? I do.
Let’s find out more about happiness – how to attain pleasure even greater than the levels of pleasure we’ve talked about in previous posts.
In their book, What the Angel Taught You, Yaakov Salomon and Rabbi Noah Weinberg give an interesting example to demonstrate the preeminence of second level pleasure.
If you pass by a construction site, you’ll see all kinds of workers. Say we approach them and ask – “You seem to really enjoy your work; can you tell us why?” We’d probably get different answers from different workers.
One guy might tell us he uses the construction as a workout to hone a perfect body, that it’s a way of getting paid to build muscle.
Another might say he works the job to bring home a little extra money for his family, to provide for his loved ones.
Yet another worker might respond that he chose the site for his construction company and he was proud to have chosen to build a hospital instead of a mall or stadium, because he wanted to make a difference.
Three different workers doing the same job – but experiencing three different levels of pleasure.
Is it possible to obtain even more pleasure than any of these 3?
If you designed the project, yes.
Creativity gives us enormous and endless pleasure.
Level 2 pleasure is being creative.
You can turn any moment into a level 2 moment if you find the creativity inside you.
In order for being creative to be more pleasurable than level 5, it’s about using your creative abilities to build on the meaning of level 3 happiness.
Being an architect, artist, composer, choreographer, curriculum planner – these are all occupations that are inherently creative. But you don’t need to be particularly gifted or lucky to live with level 2 pleasure.
If you can advise a friend, write an inspiring social media post, teach, and above all – create a family, you will experience the happiness of level 2 pleasure. If you choose to turn a boring car ride into an interesting game, a tragedy into a source of community, a snide comment into the cornerstone of a revolution – you’ll have created something and you will feel the incredible happiness of level 2 pleasure.
Why does being creative engender such pleasure?
We can understand how materialism, love, and meaning actually add value to our lives, but how does creativity add? It only thickens the backend of our actions, so why does it give us such happiness?
We’ll explain more in the next post, where we introduce the ultimate pleasure, level 1.