# Pleasure does not lead to flow experience

Pleasure is easy to experience as they are everywhere: good foods, good TVs, etc. As accessible as they are, it’s easy to mistake pleasurable experience to something that brings happiness. Yet when people are asked to look back to the happy moments in their life, the answers wouldn’t be watching TVs, and they would tend to remember the experience that are more rewarding (enjoyment).

Pleasure feels good because you have reached the expectation set by your biological program or social conditioning. Eating food feels good, because that’s what your biological program is telling you to do when you’re hungry. Sitting on the couch and watching the TV at the end of the day feels good, because that’s what the society expects you to do to end your day to spend the night.

Perhaps one of the reason pleasure does not bring happiness, is because the feeling you get don’t normally last very long. Pleasure activities are normally passive, hence they don’t lead to the growth of self (The growth of self requires complexity). You’ll get happiness out of an activity that causes the growth of self: flow activities (The components of flow experience).

See: Pleasure can be converted to enjoyment

# References

Mihaly, Flow (pp. 45 - 46).

Pleasure is a feeling of contentment that one achieves whenever information in consciousness says that expectations set by biological programs or by social conditioning have been met. […]
Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but itself it does not bring happiness. […]
Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create new order in consciousness.