Lucas Brenner » Articles » The Opposite of Pleasure Is Depression

Fun Is Unbeatable

The saying “Work before pleasure” states that the opposite of pleasure is work. But this is not true, because the opposite of pleasure really is depression.[1] Without pleasure or fun, you have no motivation.

While there are three types of fun, they must be balanced in your life.

There's a famous quote that also says you have to work hard first so you can get the reward later.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
Muhammad Ali

But do you want to hate most of your life and do something you don't like for hours every day? Of corse not.

Normally, you would divides your world into leisure/pleasure and work/duties. However, this division leads to work becoming a duty. Bu you should choose or shape your profession in such a way that it gives pleasure to you.

Those who perceive their profession as pleasure work harder and are unbeatable. A person who sees the job as a duty and finds no pleasure in it, will never work as hard as someone who loves his job.

Despite the workload, the one who has fun does not overwork himself, because he does not feel like he is working in the first place. Work should mean pleasure.

Dangers of Desire

Desire means being unhappy until you get the object of desire. You are unhappy during work until you get it done and can enjoy your leisure time.

The effects of desire also affect professional goals. However, in order to be satisfied and have fun, one must live in the present moment.

This is achieved by not making all rewards dependent on a goal. Those who enjoy their work feel satisfaction in the present because they sense that their work is meaningful.

One's goals, interests, and preferences must align in order to enjoy a task. For example, if you become too cheap, you're no longer happy, even though you save a lot of money.

How to Find Fun in Work

Most people do not see their work as a source of meaning, happiness or joy. Of course, it depends on the individual profession, but the following three techniques can help improve your situation.

Disregarding the Opinion of Others

You may find pleasure in a job yourself, but let others convince you that work shouldn't be fun. When friends or colleagues talk about how little they enjoy their work, sooner or later this also affects your own motivation.

Either you make it clear that the opinion of others should not influence your own enjoyment, or you distance yourself from those who reduce your own motivation.

Improve the Atmosphere

Human beings depend on social contacts with other humans. Therefore, it is important that there is a pleasant atmosphere in the workplace. Of course, this doesn't mean that your work colleagues have to become your best friends, but good relationships with the people you work with can still increase the enjoyment of your work.

So it's worth establishing relationships at work, too. After all, no one likes to work in a big office where everyone just stares at their screens and not a word is spoken.

Start a Side Project or Change Jobs

A side project can bring new motivation and increase your motivation, but you have to be interested in the project. If you have the opportunity for this development in your job, this is great! Besides, many successful products and services have been created through such side projects, for example Gmail.

As a last solution, you can quit your job if none of the other options work. Especially if you realize that you enjoy working in another field more, you should consider this path. Of course, it is a risky step that you should prepare carefully. But this is about your personal well-being and your health.

There are ways to see your work as pleasure. The most successful people do this, and it's one of the best ways to stay mentally healthy and to avoid burn out.

The opposite of pleasure is not work, but depression.


[1] The idea for this blog article came from Naval Ravikant.