Happiness is often confused with pleasure. The difference between happiness and pleasure is meaning. True happiness is, among other things, having accomplished something that you know is true and meaningful to you, while pleasure is simply an emotion induced by your brain secreting specific chemicals. Pleasure is addictive and obviously feels good, and your subconscious side of your brain tells you that you should get more, so it’s natural to think that life is about getting that emotion that felt so good and that you crave so much. However, neither that emotion nor that craving are meaningful. They’re instinctive and deterministic, making them simply an arbitrary product of evolution and physics. The only way that someone can want that is if they do not understand what true happiness is.
True happiness is one of the things that everyone should have in their lives and is entitled to. To be truly happy, you have to know specific things, such as that you have accomplished a worthy and virtuous goal. Being truly happy is not an evolutionary mechanism in the brain used simply to force you to survive, it’s inherently a meaningful state that is justified philosophically. The difference is the reason for you being happy or pleased: being pleased is just a chemical reaction, which anyone can cause without a purpose, while being happy is defined as being meaningful. There has to be a deeper meaning as to why you’re truly happy, and that meaning inherently makes you happy. Emotions and instinct are not controlled by your heart, they’re controlled by the instinctive programming in your subconscious brain. That programming can be wrong, which is proven by your instinct telling you something incorrect. Happiness and love are things that you feel, but they’re not emotions like pleasure or pain, they’re much deeper. An animal can feel pleasure and pain just by injecting chemicals into their brains, showing that it’s just biology and not worth dedicating your life to, but in order to be truly happy you need to use your conscious mind and fully understand and do things that you hold dearest to you.