Pain and pleasure are the basic principles in conditioning the behavior of animals, children and adults as well. This is explained by the Pavlov Effect. I explain in my last blog( the two principles that form every decision in your life) that rewards and punishments are the basic connotations of pleasure and pain which helps you transform any behavior.
It is important to note that if you make any change in your life and you want these changes to be long term, willpower alone will not help you. An understanding of the pain and pleasure principles will help you to act upon your goals.
For example, if you are overweight and you want to lose the excess weight in your body you need to condition your choices and decision making process and as most of the things that we want to achieve in life, 80% is mindset and only 20% is mechanics. So if you want to lose weight, 80% of achieving this goal depends on having the right mindset and only 20% is actually eating healthier & exercising.
So in this example, there will be a number of negative emotions associated with the fact that you are overweight. There will also be a number of positive emotions linked to the feeling that you will have after you lose the excessive weight. You need to magnify both these feelings to such an intensity, until you feel the urge to change something, until you get to a certain threshold, to a certain level of pain. Then only you can use the power of that pain to become who you want to be.
You need to drive your decisions through your emotions to achieve your goals. The pain that the negative emotions cause need to be directed towards maximizing the pleasure which you will gain once you achieve your goals. How? Here are a few basic steps to use this pain in order to achieve your goals the easiest and fastest way:-
Step 1: You Need to Link the Pain with the Habit You Want to Overcome. For the weight loss example you need to associate all the negative emotions with being overweight. Use statistics about the short and long-term negative impact of being overweight on your health, on your social life, on your intimate relationships. Watch movies that will disturb you, that will shock you about being unhealthy and overweight.
Step 2: Associate Enough Fun and Pleasure with the Healthier Life. Visualize, see and imagine how it would feel to be fitter and healthier than you are now. This will act as the motivation you need in order to start taking actions . Put posters in your house of the healthy life you want to gain. The body you want to have, the food that you want to eat, the energy you want to have.
Step 3: Look for Alternative Options. There are always several benefits that you associate with the current behavior. In case of our example you could feel that eating is a social form of relaxation. What you need to do here is to look for alternative options. Activities like going with your friends for exercise can become the alternative solutions for relaxation and socializing.
Step 4: The One Month Challenge: You need to motivate yourself constantly. You can start by telling yourself to cut down your diet for just one month. Only one month and not more. After that month you tell yourself that you go back to your old behavior and convince yourself that a month is nothing in a life time and that you can do this for one month. The fun thing about this trick is that everything you do consistently for 30 days can become a habit. This with the other points, will slowly and gradually overcome your habit that you don’t want to have.
Step 5: Celebrate Every Victory. Use the pleasure in the pain & pleasure principle, in other words Celebrate every victory even if it is a small one. This will help in adding to the pleasure and fun in your challenge to overcome a certain habit. Celebrate it with someone. Share your celebration with your closed ones to magnify the effect.
Step 6: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, you should take small and steady baby steps towards changing your behavior. You need to remind yourself that achieving pleasure is not difficult. However, it is simple as long as you are consistent and focused.
Step 7: Do Not Reinvent the Wheel. You can identify role models for yourself. Finding the right environment and the right role models will act as a huge factor in motivating you in your challenge. Find out what they eat, how they think, what their beliefs are and you can produce the same results. Copy & Paste. Modeling is the pathway to excellence in any field of your life.