Day #12 The Pain/Pleasure Principle

Have you ever wondered why we enjoy doing somethings so much and we really don’t want to do other things even though they are important and we  have to  do them? Personally I have always wanted to know why I find it easier to watch a movie than read a book or why we procrastinate.

It turns out it all depends on how much pain or pleasure we or our brain think we are getting  from such activity.We generally do the things we think will bring us pleasure and stay away from things that might cause us pain.This is a basic human instinct driven by conditioning.

The pleasure-pain principle was originated by Sigmund Freud in modern psychoanalysis, although Aristotle noted the significance in his ‘Rhetoric’, more than 300 years BC.

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.

So how do you use this pain/pleasure to your advantage? The key is to alter the emotional connection to an activity or action in a way  that it brings you more pleasure than pain or vice versa. You procrastinate and delay writing your term paper now because you think writing it now bring you more pain. This pain disappears as the deadline approaches because you know there is greater pain if you don’t turn in your paper on deadline.

In the same vein, think of the pleasure you will get from having a physically fit body and the compliments you will get from your friends and not the pain of running when thinking of going to the gym or not.

In his e-book, Need to Know, business-building expert Paul Myers puts it this way …

“Make the pleasures that you get and the pain you avoid when you achieve your goal as strong as you can. Then make the pleasure you get and the pain you avoid by NOT getting it as weak as possible.

“When the emotional attachment you make to things that move you toward it are stronger than those of the things that keep you from it, you will have effectively put the car in drive. You will automatically move in the direction of those desires.”


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