Is anything enjoyable also meaningful

Being an extremely (>3 s.d.) future-focused person, I have been conditioned to think that unpleasant things can be good for my future, medications, running the last lap etc. There is of course a bias here. Unpleasant things are much more reflection-provoking than pleasant things. I am more inclined to ask myself “why am I going through all these” when things are unpleasant.

Unpleasant things also provoke learning. I learn much better (or so I think) when I have a question that I want to seek an answer to. Having confusion is not pleasant, but it makes learning more effective.

Unpleasant things can be addictive. A lot of addictions, e.g. cigarettes, alcohol, and regrets are bitter, but somehow people find it hard to escape. It feels as if we are intrinsically masochistic.

It has become a problem because there are really good experiences in life. But somehow after these experiences, I cannot help asking myself: what is the meaning of all these. Often I cannot think of a good answer. Not a future-oriented one, despite how much I have enjoyed myself. I find it a huge burden that I have to live like a slave for the future self.

Is it reasonable to say this: pleasant things are meaningful at the present, and unpleasant things are made meaningful for the future. I do not know. I only know that if there is one thing that cannot be taken away from a person, it is the quest for meaning.

This post will be updated as I have thought through this a bit more.


Personalizing medicine