Every living thing seeks to eat well and avoid being eaten, and this is linked to the desire to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. These things are to be encouraged when they do not deprive one’s fellow creatures of these valuable things. For humans, with our language and cultural learning, we are able to forecast the probable results of our actions. We are always living in the moment, but we have some capacity for influencing our future moments and the future moments of other things and people.
What is not implied in the words of my past statements on my theory of maturity is that every more mature level from where one is at offers future greater pleasure and less pain for more people. Perhaps on the first exposure to a more mature behavior it would seem to require some effort to which a person is not accustomed, and thus it seems like work, and sometimes like very hard work, but once the habits are formed for the more mature method of coping with problems it becomes easier because the habits required give more opportunity for doing pleasurable things for yourself, for your family and friends, and ultimately for everyone.
When at each moment of life that you have a choice of what to do next, if you choose to do the thing that will bring the most long-term pleasure, even at the expense of short-term pleasure, in the long run you will experience more frequent short-term pleasures. And thus you gain more by doing the more mature long-term pleasure-seeking act.
For example, when on a family skiing trip the infant crawls around in snow, for him playing like a child would be more mature, and when he can learn to do those childish things he has more fun and more pleasure. When as a child he can play games in the snow with other kids he can have even more fun. As an adolescent, he can develop skills at various games and thus gain status with his friends and have greater pleasures than simply running about without any structure or longer-term goal.
Those are easily described goals that bring pleasure, and the same holds for an adult bringing his family to the ski park, where he can take pleasure in seeing all the members of his family having fun. The adult can experience each of their pleasures as part of his own, and thus have greater pleasures than his personal pleasure would offer. As an adult their group can go out and do public works like trail clearance or searching for a lost skier, and thus have the pleasure of giving pleasure to people beyond their family, and that would be a more mature level.
The person that this little story was about goes from being an infant to being a family organizer and community leader, and in the more mature state of behavior derives a greater sum of pleasure from each of these activities because he realizes that the pleasure of each of the individuals is in part because of his contributions.
Choosing long-term pleasure goals brings about a growth of habitual short-term personal pleasure events.