Changing Values - PLEASURE.
by John Powderly FRSA

Welcome back to this series of writings dedicated to the work and worldview of Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing. Here I continue to explore the concept of Happiness and starts to distinguish it from pleasure.

Satisfied Needs?

When working with Values Modes it is easy to fall into the trap of over-focusing on the current dominant unmet needs, because this is how we define Values Modes! As Prospectors, we feel no longer driven by the needs for safety and security, but our internal Settler needs still play a role in our lives. Similarly, as Pioneers, we do not need our views and actions to be validated by other people, or other respected sources, but our internal Prospector still has influence on the way we live and aspire to live.

So, as I continue to look at Happiness, I wonder how this more nuanced view plays out?


I have an emerging hypothesis that distinguishes between pleasure and happiness; between long-lasting, sustainable happiness and a short-term focus on enjoying ourselves.

I wonder if in-the-moment pleasure naturally arises from behaviour that directly and immediately satisfies those needs that we know how to meet already? In contrast, the deeper, longer lasting sense of satisfaction could come more from learning how to meet the dominant unmet needs we associate with our primary value mode. Starting to explore this hypothesis, here are some thoughts ....

Settlers and Pleasure

As Settlers, I wonder if there is little or no difference between pleasure and happiness?

Prospectors and Pleasure

As Prospectors, even though we are masters of delayed gratification due to focusing on our life goals, we still like to have fun on the way. Building on our interior Settler needs (that are no longer dominant), we still like to be entertained and to have our pleasure pre-packaged (Netflix, themed dining etc); however, we are also proactive in ensuring that we have a good time, particularly if such activities positively transform our mood and enhance our public image, even if it is only temporary.

In parallel to the hard work and investment in our future, we like to experience and indulge in short bursts of sensual and social pleasure, whether it be through the induced effects of alcohol (and other drugs?), music, dancing, sport etc. We need time out from the intensity of our everyday striving, to enjoy the present and to stop worrying about the future.

Pioneers and Pleasure

As Pioneers, we are moving from the pursuit of happiness to trying to be happy and mindful in the moment, but rather than switching off, this is more about switching on. Or, to be more precise, awakening a part of ourselves that had previously been unconscious.

This is not easy, though. For example, it would be difficult for many of us to fully enjoy a movie at the cinema, because we may also be aware of what the screen writer or director is trying to say. The art is to do this simultaneously. Ram Dass called it being "Totally Detached; Totally Involved".





N.B. All views and opinions expressed through these writings are solely my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cultural Dynamics.

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