It’s been said that people will do anything to avoid pain and will seek pleasure, even if they know in the long run, life is going to get more painful. Pain avoidance is something many people excel at. An example would be someone who believes they have a novel inside them. The idea keeps cropping up and begging to be written.
As a person starts and stops the writing process, they give way to negative self-talk and then look for comfort. That comfort might be laying on the couch and watching television all day because they have mentally told themselves,”Tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better and I will really go for it. Maybe write 5K to 10K…just hammer it out.”
Tomorrow arrives and the thought of sitting in a chair seems to be painful, so they decide to get ready by having a nice hot coffee. Once the coffee is done, well there is a game show on, so better watch that and have a few laughs.
The procrastination they are doing is out of a belief that writing is going to be hard, really hard and they have to be 100% prepared. But they convince themselves they aren’t today, so perhaps they should go have a hamburger and fries. Substituting what they believe is pleasure-a hamburger and fries vs writing, is sadly the route the vast majority of people take.
We all love pleasure of any kind. It makes us feel good and drives away any sadness, even if only temporarily. With the advertising and the internet, people are even more persuaded to seek pleasure only. They see the successful people and believe there was no pain for those people to get where they are today. Their minds are filled with the best houses, the best cars and vacations to sunny beaches.
This is one reason why lotto tickets sales are in the billions. Many people convince themselves that they will win the lotto and then all their dreams come true. The opposite usually happens after a huge lotto win. In a short time the money’s gone and perhaps even the people they loved, have disappeared.
A recent study showed that a notable amount of people were counting on a huge lotto win to fund their retirement. Instead of putting in the extra work and investing wisely, these people choose to play the lotto multiple times per week.
How do we stop this pain vs pleasure debate? The key thing is to re-label what pain is. There is physical pain and mental pain. When someone is in chronic pain, they tend to dwell on it and experience a great deal of depression. Learning to re-label physical pain helps to cope with it.
When a person understands that pain means they are still alive, with the opportunity to go for it and succeed, then it is possible for them to excel.
When you have a chronic disease and zero pain, it is likely because you have passed from this world. Pain tells us we are alive. There are many extreme sports fanatics that have learned to re-label pain and make it pleasure. There are mountain climbers with no legs and arms that convince themselves to scale some tough mountains. As the pain sets in, they equate it to pleasure because they are alive and headed to the top of the world, physically and mentally.
Mental pain needs to be re-labeled as well, in order to really develop the “no quit,” attitude. There are different types of mental pain associated with dropping procrastination and instead have a persistent drive. Here are the steps to take when you start to feel mental pain.
Take a few calm moments to think about what is going on inside your head. Take deep even breaths and relax all your muscles. Now ask yourself what emotions you are feeling at that moment.
Once you know the emotion, write it down on a piece of paper. Then see it as it is, a negative thought that disrupts you. Now pick a word that can replace the negative with a positive. Here are some examples. When you mentally say to yourself, “I fear doing this because……” replace it with, “I’m feeling some anticipation right now and that means things are going to get good.”
When you say to yourself, “I feel pressure to do this,” replace it with, “I’ve got a task and I can chunk it, which makes it very doable.”
Every emotion you feel, you have control over. Instead of allowing negative thoughts about doing something because it takes you out of your comfort zone or you would rather doing something very pleasurable instead…you can change it.
Make your word choices turn pain into the pleasure of going for it and being everything you ever wanted to be. The massive pleasure that you get at the end, is worth the effort of changing your task from a painful one to an inspiring thought of pleasure.
Another method to change from pain to pleasure, is breaking the habitual loop of pain memories in your brain. When you want to develop a “go for it,” attitude, you may be blocked if you have a number of memories you replay, that are focused on the number of times you quit.
Think of those memories as flash drives. Each flash drive has the time you quit school, quit three jobs in a row or constantly gave up on relationships the minute it got rough. Sit back and visualize that flashdrive and when you can picture it, mentally throw it into the air and blast it to pieces with a baseball bat.
Immediately think of a memory when you had something to do and you went for it 100% and remember exactly how you felt at that moment. Think of all the pleasure you got from yourself and those around you, who congratulated you on the massive success. If you have difficulty thinking of that one time, then think of something you wanted to succeed at and act as if it happened. Your brain is not able to tell the difference from a real event or one that you imagined.
If you find that hard to believe, then think of the times you put yourself into a deep state of fear, when you heard a noise. It may have just been a creaky board in a house but suddenly you were able to transform that noise into a killer with a knife.
Remember how you got goosebumps and chills?
That is you, creating a scene that your brain is believing to be true.
The big key to changing the negative CD in your head, is finding a technique that works for you. Experiment with this. If blasting the CD with a shotgun is not working, try dissolving the CD in a big vat of acid. Work on this until you find an image that helps you erase the CD and the memories it holds…permanently.
When you practice the blasting apart or erasing of old negative hurts, it will lead to that thought having little or no power over you. That means you are free to replace the thought with one that is positive and gives you pleasure.
Excerpted from The Power of A “Never Give Up” Attitude (ebook)
The book was designed with the goal in mind to give you a new way of thinking. In the book, we show you how to break the negative pathways in your brain and build new strong positive pathways. In addition, we cover why it is so important for your success in life, to fully understand and implement the idea of having a powerful, never give up no matter what attitude. Get your copy today (it’s FREE)