Control your life. (Part 1) Controlling Pain/Pleasure

What will you do to avoid pain and find pleasure? You will do a lot for pleasure, but you do even more to avoid pain! These are the two instinctive areas in your life that control the majority of what you do in your life whether you realize it or not.  

"Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure... they govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve to demonstrate and confirm it."
-Jeremy Bentham

Most instinctively you will go for the short term pleasure or avoidance of pain. However, to gain long term pleasure you most certainly have to push through short term pain. It goes against your nature to do this and this is why you are controlled by these two emotions. Pain/Pleasure are most likely controlling you right now. Examples:  

  • Do I play on computer or get work done?
  • Do I get the french fries or the salad?
  • Do I keep watching TV or work out?

You know which one is the better choice for your long term life, but often you pick the short term pleasure and end up dealing with long term pain. Conversely, anything you want that is valuable requires that you break though some short term pain to gain long term pleasure. Even at the smallest level, this is a factor in your life and makes you a slave to these two emotions. Here's the kicker.... What you call pain is not really pain at all. It's your perception of pain. It's fear that what you might do will lead to actual pain. The same goes for pleasure. You are not driven by reality, but by "YOUR PERCEPTION OF REALITY"

What if you could control this and use it to your advantage? What if you could turn your life around and start living the life you know you should (and would really like to have) by controlling your pain and pleasure?

I am reminded of an excellent book that talks about this subject. "Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins. Here he speaks of five steps you can take to start to control your perception of pain and pleasure and start to controlling your life rather than living thorough your fears of pain and beliefs in pleasure.  

Step 1: Write down all the actions that you need to take that you've been putting off.  
Ex:
Weight loss?
Stop smoking?
Open lines of communication with someone?

Step 2:  Write down why you haven't taken action and what pain you link to taking action on these matters. Ex:
Is the pain as simple as taking time out of my schedule to get this done?

Step 3:  Write down all the pleasure you've had in the past by indulging in this negative pattern. Ex:
Eating tons of chips and brownies?  
Drinking with my friends?
Instant pleasure of not depriving myself?

Step 4:  Write down what it will cost if you don't change right now. Ex:
What will happen if I keep eating lots of sugar and fat?
What will happen if I don't stop smoking?
What will this cost me emotionally, physically, financially?   What will it do to my self esteem, relationships, physically energy and vitality?

Step 5: Write down all the pleasure you'll receive by taking these actions right now.
(Make a huge list that will get you excited emotionally.) Ex:
"I'll gain control over my life."
"I'll have new level of self-confidence"
"I'll be physically fit and energetic"
"I'll be able to strengthen my relationships"

It all sound so simple that you might think that it couldn't work. It is very simple, but also very difficult and takes lots of practice. This can change the next two, three, five, years of your life and set you on the right path to living your dream. Don't wait on this one. Do it. Post your answers on you bathroom mirror, fridge, office. Some where you can look at them everyday. Believe in yourself and start to change your reality. Change how your perceive pain/pleasure so they don't control you. Take control of your own life by controlling these perceived emotions. Go make your life what you want it to be!