I was eating a Drumstick last night when it suddenly dawned on me. I associate pleasure to eating sugary foods. Aw crap.
What do you associate pleasure or pain to in your life? Are the pleasurable ones holding you back from becoming something greater than you currently are? Should you tackle more of the pain items in order to achieve greatness and live the life that many dream but few live?
I'm currently working on a new book about beating procrastination, and this pleasure or pain topic will be covered in it as well. It was Freud's pleasure-pain principle who said we were born with a pleasure principle where we seek immediate gratification of our needs, while our pain principle drives us to avoid pain.
Aristotle also had a very similar idea, around 300 B.C.
"We may lay it down that Pleasure is a movement, a movement by which the soul as a whole is consciously brought into its normal state of being; and that Pain is the opposite."
What drives you and your decisions? Are you working towards pleasure or working to beat pain?
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef is quoted as saying “A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
I would expand that quote to include 'The success one finds can be measured by the amount of pain they can endure to achieve their goals.'
If we always seek an early Friday afternoon instead of making sales calls until 5PM as we should be doing will show up on our quarterly bonus summary. If we constantly hit the snooze button instead of put on the joggers and go for a run we shouldn't be surprised that our pants are fitting a little tighter. So why can't we take more pain to ultimately seek more pleasure - the big goals we envision for ourselves - instead of seek out the immediate gratification?
Did I finish that Drumstick? You betcha. Did I regret it? Yup. But did I look at that decision in a conscious way, determining that I currently place too much pleasure on things that I shouldn't? Absolutely.
What's my ultimate goal? I want to be much more aware of my health. By no means am I out of shape, but I desire to look in the mirror at a body that screams hard work and discipline. I should be placing more pain on the reflection I currently see - the pain that's going to allow me to put down the Drumstick or any other unhealthy foods the next time I'm tempted. Since this discovery does my current body owe my present enlightenment a thank you? I'll keep concentrating on my pain and I know that it will.
How can this conscious decision making help in other areas? Being highly effective and working towards new and exciting goals means that we have to avoid pleasure and take the pain to get past things that are holding us back.
It's easy to find pleasure. Stay on the couch. Check your Facebook New Feed. Shop Amazon for a while. Sleep in. But where do any of those things really get us?
So let me propose this to you today. Let's tackle something we know will bring us pain. Let's turn off the easy distractions. Let's set some new goals. Let's push our personal pleasure "demons" aside, find our pain threshold and push through it.
The pleasure other side sounds so much better.