Epicurean Philosophy’s tenets are broken down to the following:
1st: That pleasure which produces no pain is to be embraced.
2nd: That pain which produces no pleasure is to be avoided.
3rd: That pleasure is to be avoided which prevents a greater pleasure, or produces a greater pain.
4th: That pain is to be endured which averts a greater pain, or secures a greater pleasure.
Now that this base has been covered, allow me to expand on them into a broader platform:
*Power and success are sometimes mutually exclusive, but almost always a product of an intelligent exchange of pleasure. Some success can be achieved by an uneven use of power (threats and bribery), but it cannot be enjoyed for threat of retaliation. Conversely, if you are too powerful, you convey displeasure in your constituents and peers (envy) and therefore risk having your success undermined or even taken away.
*Its not morality that predicts someone being a good person in the public’s eyes, its the amount of pleasure that said person elicits. Such explains why villains and violence attract more ratings than virtue and sunny optimism. If you ever wonder why revenge and redemption are more digestible than doing good from the starting gun, its because such flavors are more pleasurable. Without sympathy, pleasure is superseded by hate and envy.
*Delayed gratification is the only gratification. Cheap thrills exist, sure, but the end result is flat and impotent without the tension that builds from denied fulfillment. To want something is to lack it (see the Greek folklore of Tantalus), and therefore the lack of complete fulfillment leaves room for more to be desired. Complete satisfaction leaves no room for more satisfaction. Remember the golden rule: “keep em wanting more”
*The ends justify the means. If you think otherwise, you’re either a slave or an idiot.
*The cost of an object of desire’s attainment is the true value. How much it cost to make, what you had to do to earn it, how much time was spent waiting until you were able to attain said object are the ingredients that makes the mouth salivate.
*To exchange and give is to commune and therefore live. We were made social creatures, and thusly the more powerful are better at exchanging pleasure (and the give and take with these individuals is a delicacy in itself).
*Those who are unable to give and take skillfully are rapists, thieves, the entitled, the obnoxious among us. They do nothing for themselves and therefore nothing for anyone else. Hence the adage “love yourself before you love others” You have to test and refine your product before you go to market to sell your wares
*Make no mistake that the world is about selling yourself and what you have to offer as an individual in exchange with others for what you desire. The world is a marketplace, and you are both merchant and product. In love and in business, this is what it means to be powerful and successful.