I am passionate about helping you achieve thriving health and energy and becoming mind and financially independent. You might ask how I nourish my brain to come up with the ideas that gets me where I want to be in life – and I would say that it is not a secret – I simply love to read books. I read books about health, how to build wealth, and how to have awesome relationships. Now that I have this personal blog, it is time for me to share with you some of the most inspiring and impressive books that I have read and that you can benefit from, as well as several that my self-made friends recommend.
At the beginning of every New Year, people come up with their resolutions for that year based on good intentions. However, by the 15th of January approximately 50% of these people give up. Their logic might try to convince them otherwise but often does not succeed. Why is this so? I read once about a very interesting theory based on human behavior and psychology. This theory involves two basic principles that help in forming our decisions in life. Understanding these principle can help greatly in gaining insight into our own behavior (You can even lose weight using this principle) . The concept is popularly known as the Pain and Pleasure Theory.
It suggests that every decision you take in your life is an attempt to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. Every choice or decision made in daily life is based on this theory. You try to avoid the pain that can be caused by a wrong decision and focus on the fun and pleasure that will come out of good decisions. But this is not always the case. Many experts and theorists who have studied this concept have highlighted the fact that people tend to focus more on avoiding pain rather than increasing pleasure. This is because the survival mechanism too plays a role in the decision making process. It has a direct impact on all decisions and choices regardless of whether they are made consciously or unconsciously.
Why Avoiding Pain is Far More Important Than Gaining Pleasure
- Your natural defense mechanism gives top priority to survival which is why you instinctively try to avoid pain.
- One other reason given for the tendency is that pain has a greater and more immediate effect on you. It triggers the survival instinct and you automatically become more concerned with trying to withdraw from the negative effect.
Our decisions are based more on emotions and less on logic. It is true that logic does play an important role in decision making but experts suggest that the first steps that are taken in the decision making process are biased towards emotions.
“We are not driven by the reality of pain or the reality of pleasure, but by our perception of the reality that leads to pain or to pleasure.” Anthony Robbins
In other words, we take decisions based on what we think how we are going to feel in the future and not based on reality. It is about the perception of reality. Some marketers and human behavioral psychologist even declare that 98 % of our buying decisions are made emotionally and then justified rationally/logically.
Are You Still a Reptile?
Our society has been conditioned in such a way that the brain tries to dominate all decisions and choices. In order to understand how the brain reacts to certain situations, the pain and pleasure theory can be linked to some concepts of evolutionary biology. The human brain has evolved in three phases. These phases can therefore, be considered as three basic layers of the brain:
The Reptilian Brain: This term basically refers to the oldest phase of your brain. In simple words this brain controls the reflexes and basic instincts including survival. The fight or flight concept relates to the reptilian brain as well. This concept is very similar to the pain and pleasure theory.
The Mammalian Brain: this is the part of your brain where the emotions are stored.
The Neo-Cortex: This is basically known as the youngest brain. It is responsible for the logic, reasoning, learning etc. This part of the brain is usually more evaluative than the others which focus more on instinct. The funny thing here is that these three layers are not very well coordinated with each other. In fact, when they are in conflict the survival mechanism kicks back to the oldest brain which is the reptilian brain. This is good, because if you are in a dangerous situation, like earthquake, dangerous animal, etc… you shouldn’t think for too long but need to act extremely fast, but sometimes we imagine an event as a dangerous situation which is not, like public speaking, approaching a stranger, etc…
Two of the Many Ways to Change a Pain or Fear Association
Let’s take the public speaking as an example.
- Just doing it over and over again until your logical brain overwrites the program that launch the fear that your reptile brain associate with public speaking
- To do nr 1 in a more smooth way and with less fear, you can use NLP techniques (disassociation/association) and through meditation visualize yourself doing the presentation in a successfull way. This need some training and some consistent action before your reptile brain/logical brain transaction gets it
It is not always bad to have fear or pain associated with some actions. Fear usually is a signal that something need to change. Sometimes you can use fear and pleasure to push and pull you when your willpower is lacking of power to take action. Because of the pain and pleasure concept associated with every decision, actions can be changed. The emotions can be used to drive the decision making process towards achieving your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight you can :
- Associate several painful emotions with eating unhealthy, not exercising and not losing weight.
- You can reprogram yourself by linking enough intense negative emotions to not taking action.
- You can visualize this negative emotions with so much intensity until you feel that you need to make a change. You can help yourself by watching movies who can empower you or hang pictures in your bedroom. The kind of pictures that empower you to take the right action and the kind that will link enough pain to being unhealthy. If you do this in a consistent way, it will pay off in the direction that you want as you will stack pain over pain and pleasure over pleasure.
Don’t let fear and imaginary pain use you, but use fear and pain to lead the live that you want on your own terms and conditions.
Related posts:- How to Use the Pain and Pleasure Principle to Lose Weight