Do Pain And Pleasure Use You?

Posted on Posted in Leadership & Motivation

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”

—Anthony Robbins

Today, in one of my weekly trainings, I shared about the Pain-Pleasure Principle (PPP) that was popularised by Anthony Robbins. The PPP explains that all decisions and choices that we make in life are motivated by either:

  • gaining the pleasure of; or
  • avoiding the pain of not

making those decisions and choices.

Think about it. You’ve made the choice of getting into that job, relationship or business at some point in time. You did it probably because of the promises you saw in it. Or you probably did it because of the pain of not having it. Either way, you were motivated by the PPP.

In the training today, I asked the participants what were the motivating factors (pleasure) behind their reasons to want to achieve success in life. Most shouted out the promises of having more time and money freedom, the sense of achievement and the ability to leave a legacy for their generations to come. I then asked them about what were the pain of not achieving success. They shouted even louder this time. “Being looked down at”, “Being criticised”, “Tarnished reputation”, “Being broke”, “Feeling like a loser” etc. were just some of the most common reasons.

“People change only when they hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to, or receive enough that they are able to.”

—John C. Maxwell

Personally, I believe that one of the ways to use pain and pleasure effectively is to:

  1. list down in a piece of paper all the pleasure you will gain from making that decision or choice and taking the necessary actions; and
  2. on another piece of paper, list down all the pain you will get for NOT taking the necessary actions and thus not having the results you desired.

The first list will be your source of motivation and willpower. Look into this list whenever you feel that you are about to breakdown or give up. These are your intentions—your very reasons for doing what you’re doing.

The second list will be your source of urgency. Look into this list whenever you feel like you’re not fast enough in achieving your results, or stagnant. Many people completely ignore this list because they fear being reminded of the things in this list so they can avoid taking actions and thus avoiding the responsibilities to make things happen. But we all know that we owe it to ourselves to create what we want in life, and no one else.

If it’s to be, it’s up to me.

You only have one life in this lifetime. Own it. Live it. Make it the best life you’ve ever had in this lifetime.

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