Pain and Pleasure

I have begun to reread Tony Robbins’s classic book Awaken the Giant Within, and one principle/point sticks out the most.

That principle is the force that drives our behavior which is the desire to avoid pain, or to seek pleasure.

It makes so much sense to me now that it is not even funny.

I find it hard to believe that I never made this discovery on my own.

This ties into what I call the power of necessity as well.

When you need to do something you know that you will receive enormous pain if you don’t do it.

This is why it is easy to brush my teeth, take showers, go to the gym.

The consequences of not doing these things would be extremely painful.

I have noticed that this is what causes me to do these things.

I also do them because I know that they will lead to pleasure.

Brushing my teeth = better breath, better breath = more pleasure.

Taking showers leads to smelling good = smelling good leads to more pleasure.

Going to the gym leads to a muscular body = muscular body leads to admiration and attention from women, these things lead to pleasure.

So now that I know this, I have become deeply immersed into applying the pain and pleasure principle into my own life.

I am convinced that this is the golden nugget in Tony Robbins’s book.

This has driven my behavior and other people’s behavior for years.

Tony even says that if we want to create lasting change we have to associate massive pain to the old behavior and massive pleasure to the new behavior.

He says that this is what makes us change.

Now, that I know this I am doing whatever it takes to ultimately master this principle.

Here is what has been going on in my head relating to this principle.

If I write this article I will receive so much pleasure that I will be overwhelmed with satisfaction.

If I don’t write this article I will be in pain and disgusted with myself for being a slacker.

Being a slacker is painful.

Being a doer is extremely pleasurable.

I get enormous pleasure and satisfaction from getting things done.

Getting things done leads to me believing that I am a mighty conqueror that can get anything done.

Believing this leads to more opportunities and more resources.

More resources = more money and better results.

Better results = a better life.

A better life = more pleasure.

This was my aha moment.

Tony says in his book that it is not enough to intellectually know the exercises.

He says that we need to condition our bodies and our central nervous systems to believe this.

This leads to associating so much pain with not getting rich, or getting things done that we have no choice but too act.

We don’t do well when we give ourselves a choice!

When we make it a necessity that is when we get what we want.  You Need it

The power of necessity relates to the pain and pleasure principle.

Needing to do something means that we have already linked massive amounts of pain towards avoiding it or not doing it.

This is why nicotine addicts can’t ever quit.

It is because they have linked massive amounts of pain towards quitting that they can’t give it up.

I remember when I had a tobacco addiction.

Whenever I didn’t have the tobacco I would experience mental pain.

My body needed it since I didn’t have the proper association with it.

My association needed to be reversed.

I associated using tobacco with pleasure.

Once I flipped the switch and made it too painful to ever use again, I was able to quit for good, and I haven’t used it ever again.

In fact, it is too painful for me to even consider ever using it again.

I was able to drop the habit because I linked massive amounts of pain towards not quitting, that it made quitting a piece of cake.

This pain and pleasure principle must be mastered.

Since this has such an impact on our behavior, it helps us to stack the odds in our favor.

Stacking the odds in our favor is something that I derive pleasure from.

This is the same thing with the rich.

The rich associate massive amounts of pleasure with being rich.

They also associate massive amounts of pain with being poor.

Another way to improve at this, is to associate massive pleasure with selling and acquiring skills.

This principle will change our life either way, for the good or for the bad.

Another time I used the pain and pleasure principle was when I first started squatting everyday.

I started squatting everyday, about 1 year ago.

At first it was hard and it was painful, but, I kept on reminding myself that my squat would go up if I kept doing it.

I was able to turn this into a habit because I associated massive amounts of pleasure with improving my squat and increasing it.

This caused me to want to train my squat more and to get better.

I got it deep into to my central nervous system.

Now, if I don’t go to the gym 6-7 days per week I will experience a lot of mental pain.

When I do go I experience a wealth of mental pleasure and satisfaction.

I am aware that this principle can change our lives if only we allow it to do just that.

By doing this we can get as good as we want.

I am working on associating massive amounts of pleasure towards studying.

I have done this by reminding myself that I will acquire millions of dollars if I develop the right skills and become competent in business.

I have also linked not studying to the pain of being a failure.

Being a failure sucks and being a rich winner, is pleasurable and fantastic.

I would receive a lot of pain if I didn’t accomplish my goals.

If I do accomplish my goals I will receive massive amounts of pleasure.

Linking these two will help anyone achieve goals with more efficiency.

It is as simple as reversing the approach.

Whatever someone isn’t able to do.

They aren’t able to do it because they link too much pain to the activity.

By reversing this and linking pleasure to work and achieving goals, there are no limits to what someone can actually achieve.

To get things done takes disciplined effort and consistency.

It doesn’t matter if you are ruthless or compassionate, if you don’t have or acquire the discipline you simply will never get anything done.

Doing the work and taking pleasure and pride in doing so is what will lead to faster results.

It is about being efficient and not having any wasted movement.

Imagine a great white shark in the ocean.

Great white’s do not waste any movement.

They make every second count.

This is why they are the most dangerous predators in the sea.

Efficiency, discipline, and consistency will take anyone further than motivation will.

Efficient work means that you make every second count.

Discipline is doing the work when you want to avoid it.

Consistency is doing the efficient work every single day.

Just like our bodies our lives can be built if we are efficient with our actions and we take the necessary steps every day.

This requires coming up with a plan.

The plan doesn’t have to be perfect, it simply has to be executed.

There is a great quote I read the other day, that said, “execution is mastery.”

That quote really resonated with me.

It made so much sense.

What if we took pleasure in executing our tasks quickly and effectively?

If we did this we would become great.

Some people like always will misinterpret the message and they will write a lot of meaningless filler just to finish quickly.

This is the opposite of what I said.

I am advocating focusing all of your energy on executing the plan.

Put all of your energy and pleasure on getting the task at hand done.

I have recently begun to do this.

Someone died, so what the work needs to get done.

Your leg hurts?  So what training needs to be completed.

Too much of a coward to go talk to that woman?  So what, go talk to her anyway.

These are thoughts that focus on execution.

Focusing on our execution is something we can control.

This means that there is no excuse to mediocre performance.

If you focus all of your energy on getting it done the best way possible and it sucks there is no shame in that.

That means that when you are writing, to put all of your focus on your fingers hitting the keyboard and words appearing on the screen.

Training at the gym, put all of your focus on completing the reps under control and with a good squeeze.

If you struggle with talking to people focus on opening your mouth and getting your lips moving.

All of these thoughts focus on execution.

Execution is mastery.

Chip Kelly the San Francisco 49ers coach once said.

“Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshipped.”

Think about how great that quote is for a second.

Isn’t getting the job done the most important thing?

We all know the answer is yes.

Why don’t we do it then?

We don’t focus on our execution, we focus on other external factors that we can’t change.

We do this because it brings us pleasure and gets us to avoid the pain of hard work, and executing efficiently and effectively.

Any great performer is great because he focuses on his performance, not on what the crowd is doing.

Crowds will always be there.

The crowd is there to watch the performer, not the other way around.

Once performers realize this it will be easier for them to just perform and focus on their execution.

All of this relates and is connected to the pain and pleasure principle.

People who achieve great things are able to do this, because they take pleasure in getting things done and executing.

Refuse to allow anyone to tell you differently.

We are all chasing after pleasure and running away from pain whether we realize it or not.

This principle of pain and pleasure needs to be controlled and harnessed in order for us to become wealthy, strong and powerful like we want.

Any successful person is successful because they have linked massive amounts of pain to failure and they have linked massive amounts of pleasure to being successful.

Another key detail of the successful is that they are congruent.

Congruence is when you take the actions to get what you say you want.

A lot of people say they want to lose weight and then they never pick a diet plan.

This is because unconsciously they have linked massive amounts of pain to giving up certain foods, or eating less in general.

They need to direct the pain to staying fat forever and the health risks involved with being fat.

They could also link the pain to missing out on dating opportunities due to being fat, or professional opportunities.

By directing the pain link this will make it easier to follow through on goals, and executing our plans.

If we aren’t able to execute we won’t get anything we want.

You have to give in order to receive.

If you want to receive millions of dollars per year you have to provide a great service or a great product that people can use to their own benefit.

To receive a good body you have to give some time to training your body and prepping your meals.

You have to give/execute in order to receive.

There is no receiving without giving first.

I now understand this.

For years I only received and I never gave.

The only things that I gave were beatings in fights.

In that case I was a giver.

I expected to be given things.

Then I finally realized that I have to give a lot of effort if I really want to move forward and advance.

I realize now that I have to give all of myself and focus on execution if I want to advance and expand.

I get great pleasure from growing and advancing, this makes it easier for me to do the work.

It gets easier because I know that I will keep advancing and growing if I keep giving myself to the effort and the tasks at hand.

There is no sacrifice I am doing what needs to be done to be a rich, wealthy, mighty man.

Doing the work and giving all of your energy to executing the task with precision and speed is what will give us the pleasure and the rewards that we want.

This also relates to the power of necessity.

By linking so much pleasure to doing the work to receive the reward there is no way that we won’t do the work.

You need to do the work.

If you want to do the work you won’t do it.

If you need to do it you will.

Necessity is the most powerful force in the universe.

Saying and repeating over and over again that you need to do this will make it a lot easier to get things done.

Sometimes my internal dialogue when I am writing is simply telling myself, I need to keep going.

I have to continue.

I must finish the task at hand.

I need to be efficient with my energy.

I need to execute better.

The mindset of necessity can also be harnessed once you learn to associate massive amounts of pain towards not doing the work.

The pain of not doing it is too powerful that you have to get it done just to get that weight lifted off your back.

This pain and pleasure principle is such a great tool that I am dumbfounded that I didn’t make this discovery years ago.

I am convinced that Tony Robbins is right and that this is the force that drives our behavior.

This is why a force like this needs to be manipulated at all costs.

Since this unconsciously drives our behavior anyways we need to make sure that we control it.

Anything that is out of control is dangerous.

Control is important for anything.

I also link massive amounts of pleasure towards control and having control.

Most people have called me a maniac and a control freak.

These are compliments, I am crazy enough to do the work that it takes to climb the mountains of success.

Most people listen to the people who didn’t make it to the top, instead of following the path of the people who did get to the top.

This can be controlled by linking pain towards following the crowd.

If you know that the masses are average, link massive amounts of pain towards following the masses.

Think about how much it would hurt to be just like the masses.

Or if you prefer positive thinking, imagine how great it would be to reach all of your goals and ambitions.

Link massive amounts of pleasure towards reaching all that you desire.

Strategy to Implement the Pain and Pleasure Principle:

  • Another very effective strategy is to link massive amounts of pleasure towards creating and being a producer rather than a consumer.

Most of the masses are consumers.

This is why they are the primary targets during marketing campaigns and advertisements.

The masses are the most effective audience because it is easier to predict their behavior.

This is why linking pain to being a consumer and linking pleasure to being a producer will help us acquire more resources and grow and expand.

This makes it easier to get things done, and to focus on being efficient and effective.

Your questions need to look like this.

Will this get me to my destination?

Can I use this material?

Thinking like this helps you to think in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

Keeping your foot on the gas and going forward relentlessly makes anyone tough to beat.

I have been relentless in my training, even on the keto diet.

The keto diet has showed me that the only training limits I had were the ones that I put into my own mind.

I have been able to adapt easily to training in ketosis.

This is a diet that I can stick to without much of an effort due to my love of meat, eggs, and chipotle ranch.

I can eat all of these things on keto and I have been able to fit it into myfitness pal fairly easily.

The fact that I refuse to let my foot off the gas shows me that I will be arriving soon.

I have also applied that to writing and earning income to.

The way I see it is that if we let our foot off the gas our momentum will be lost.

Losing momentum is something that will give me pain.

Growing and expanding and earning more is something that will give me massive amounts of pleasure.

I have been writing like a madman lately and I have no intention of stopping.

I simply refuse to take my foot off the gas pedal.

Having a sports background has made it easy for me to keep this concept in my own life.

I remember in football and baseball games, that whenever one team took their foot off the gas the other team would come back.

I always disliked that.

When I help coach travel ball, I make sure that the boys understand that if you have a lead expand it stretch it and take it so far that the umpires have to stop the game because of a 10 or 15 run rule.

Obviously their will be a lot more close games then blowouts.

But, when you have a lead you must grow it and expand it.

This principle applies to everything.

Go forward like a maniac and demand absolute forward progress.

This mindset of keeping your foot on the gas will lead to massive momentum and growth and expansion.  Keep attacking

Who doesn’t want to advance?

Advancing and expanding gives me the ultimate satisfaction.

After all isn’t what we were created to do?

To advance and and grow.

This isn’t wishful thinking.

Come up with a plan.

Pick 5 new skills that will help you grow and advance and learn them.

For some people it can be public speaking.

Others will need to develop their writing skills.

Sales is a skill that everyone needs to master.

So is effective body language.

Another skill could be leadership.

These are all skills that force us to grow and expand.

If we link massive amounts of pleasure towards acquiring these skills it will be a lot easier to acquire them.

I know that I am beating a dead horse, but, it is crucial to understand the pain and pleasure principle.

If we are unaware of it, we will passively let life control us, instead of controlling our lives.

After all, isn’t having control over your own life pleasurable?

Whoever says that they don’t like control is simply a liar.

They are saying this to lure you into a false sense of security.

The victim mindset is what causes people to become miserable.

These people think that their unhappiness is due to an external source.

The problem with blaming external sources is that you take away your own personal power.

Blaming other people for your problems also causes this.

Once people begin to accept absolute responsibility for their own lives and for their own action then they will begin to see results that they are after.

These people who are victims also get pleasure from blaming other people.

Blaming others makes them feel good.

The issue with that is that no one else is you.

Thank you for reading.

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