Pleasure V Pain

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 13-04-2013

Ever wondered why never quite achieve your goals or keep procrastinating about the same thing but never get round to doing it?

It's because everything we do is motivated by gaining pleasure and avoiding pain.

Let’s look at some examples:

Procrastination - If you’re procrastinating about doing something it’s because you link more pain to doing that thing than the pleasure you will have when you’ve acheived it.

Weight Loss – If lose a few pounds then spoil it all by eating copious amounts of chocolate, that’s because you link more pleasure to eating the chocolate than the pain of losing the weight!

Relationships – If you’re in a relationship that isn’t working and you can’t seem to leave, it’s because you link more pain to ending the relationship than the pleasure you may gain if you do.

Changing Jobs – If you’re unhappy in your job, but don’t leave, it’s because you link more pain to finding and starting a new job than you do to staying in your existing role.

Excessive Drugs/Drinking – If you drink to excess or take drugs, it’s because you link more pleasure to them than the pleasure of being clean/healthy.

As humans every single action we take is geared towards getting out of or avoiding pain and getting in to pleasure.  We'll do far more to avoid pain than we'll do to gain pleasure.  You may say, “But I really want to lose weight!” Or “I really want to do/be/have...” my answer would be, “Obviously not enough, or else you would have it, or at least be working towards it”.

So how do we actually change and achieve the thing we want? We do it by leverage, until you make the reason for doing/being/having the thing you want bigger than your reason for not doing it, you’ll never achieve it.  Reasons come first and the 'how to' comes second.

Once you have big enough leverage, you can achieve anything.  The reasons for the thing you want has to become bigger than the reasons not to.  Eg Why do you want that thing - write down a full list of everything you will get as a result of achieving your goal and also right down what will happen if you don't.  The more compelling your reasons, the more likely you are to achieve it.

Do you need help with changing something in your life?  Why not give us a call for a free, no obligation conversation on how we can help you.


JO's FIRST BOOK: Thoughts Become Things

Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.