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Antidepressants are the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

From the minute we wake up until the moment we go to sleep everyday we are moved by an impulse and feeling of searching for something. It could be money or material things, a family ideal, good health or a great shape, a break on holidays, and so on.

By definition we are incomplete beings. There’s always something missing in our lives. And not only do we feel something is missing but what’s missing is also permanently changing.

Have you ever had the experience that after pursuing and getting something you were after, the feeling of happiness lasted really less than you thought or expected it would last?

Do you feel a lack of sustainable happiness in your life sometimes?

I think happiness is an inner state. Happiness is not about “the road” or “the arrival” but a mode. Is the way we do things, feeling we are walking the right path in our life’s path. I would like to offer a change of perspective around where to look in the pursuit of happiness. Here are two areas in our lives where this perspective might be applicable.

Pleasure vs. Satisfaction

There is a huge difference between these two concepts that most people don’t realize.

You can buy pleasure. The way you get pleasure is for example by buying comfort, like a nice brand new car.

You can’t buy satisfaction. The only way you will obtain it is by achieving things in your life.

The important thing is that most people declare experiencing a deep state of long lasting happiness through satisfaction and not through pleasure. Pleasure is ephemeral. It begins and it finishes quickly. Satisfaction does not.

Now my question for you is this: Where do you put more focus in your life today? Do you try to buy comfort and get happiness in return?

Time, Money and Health

You could be the richest man on earth and yet not have the time or health to be happy.

The currency that buys happiness is not money. It’s time and health. Of course I’m aware we live on a planet where money is important and we need to take care of our families and ourselves.

The point I’m try to make here is this: How balanced is this three-variable equation (time, money and health) in your life today?

Which of those three things are you neglecting and are you getting in return? What’s the cost of this trade off?

Finally, I would like to return to the initial question which I started with, inviting you to explore where you are looking when you search for happiness. As the great writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky said: “The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”

Nico Iglesias is a therapist and professional coach in San Francisco. Contact him at nicoiglesias@gmail.com.