It seems clear that Freud was right when he spoke about people being governed and directed by the “pleasure principle”.  That basically means that people automatically make choices designed to create more pleasure and less pain in their lives.  When people are questioned about what they want, their answers can range from a newer car or a bigger house to more and bigger toys or a nicer work environment.  But……….the ultimate outcome of such desires would be in increased levels of peace, joy and satisfaction.

People are actually programmed to create just those qualities in their lives.  That is the natural outcome of informed choices guided by the pleasure principle.  However, there is one big catch to this programming.  

The tools and guiding principles of life for all of us are those which were taught to us by word and deed in the family we grew up in.  This means that if we grew up in a family wherein the adults had achieved a life of peace, joy and satisfaction; then we are in pretty good shape.  But for those of us who may have been raised by parents who have not been able to create a life of peace, joy and satisfaction for themselves, it stands to reason that they were not able to pass the tools by which one gains peace, joy and satisfaction to their children, namely us. 

The good news is that there are other ways to learn how to create the desired life we want.  We can read some of the many books on the topic, we can attend lectures and workshops on building the life we want, attend community institutions that promote peace and love  and, finally, we can find a psychotherapist we feel comfortable with and get direct weekly feedback on our search for the life we want.  This is also the life to which we are entitled for ourselves.