The Principle of Equalization

It might be counter-intuitive but there is a compensating rise in sensitivity when we refrain from the more sensual options. The act of restricting choice will raise the intensity of what remains in a process automatic and self-stabilizing. For example avoiding sweet food eventually heightens our tastes to the complex flavors and latent sweetness of non-sugary alternatives. In general any change in our habits has this self-regulating property of long term equalization of pleasure; any loss or gain is insubstantial and transitory. To abruptly move above or below the original level of pleasure is only to asymptotically approach it again with time. The constant chase after pleasure ends with no more than when we started and with generally worse health for our troubles. This being true we may as well  forget pleasure-seeking altogether and choose for the greatest well-being. Contrary to our assumptions health is the variable we control and pleasure is what’s fixed. Instead of selecting for pleasure and ignoring health we optimize for health and take pleasure when and where we can.

Insight as art and science