Turning pain into pleasure…
The principle is simple and it exercises absolute power over our lives. What we associate in our mind with pain we will tend to avoid at all cost and what we associate with pleasure we will seek out and want to experience more of and probably as much as possible.
The only thing that ultimately separates those people who succeed and people who fail are the actions that they do or do not take. Those actions, or lack of them, are motivated primarily by our associating them either with pleasure or with pain. If we associate pleasure with resourceful and empowering actions then we tend to do resourceful and empowering things. If we associate pleasure with un-resourceful and disempowering actions then we will tend to do un-resourceful and disempowering things. And, if we associate pain with resourceful and empowering actions then we will tend to avoid doing them. The actions that we do or do not take tend to determine the outcomes that we experience in our lives because what we do creates outcomes that we learn form, avoid or even hide from, ultimately associating them with pain or pleasure.
Pain and pleasure associations massively influence our lives and are the main reason for acts of over eating, smoking and drug abuse. As a consequence of the need to survive, emotionally as well as physically, we learn strategies, which we enjoy and repeat or hate and avoid. A person who is overweight will have developed certain mental associations that, for them at least, represent more pleasure by eating that the pain of being overweight, breathless and possible dying early. The same holds true of smoking and drug abuse. Conversely, those who avoid these ‘vices’ have learned to associate the reverse or degrees of it and take no pleasure at all in even the thought of engaging in such activities. For them the association is one of pain and so they avoid it.
Logically, nothing can happen until something does happen and if action is the pre-requisite for making things happen, then the pre-requisite of that is what makes us take action in the first place, and that is decision. Decisions are based entirely upon the pain/pleasure principle. There is not a thing that we do as human beings that is not done either to gain pleasure or to avoid pain. Ultimately, every human act, good or bad, comes from the desire to gain pleasure or to avoid pain. Whether these acts are ‘normal’, ‘common’, or ‘socially acceptable’ is quite another matter. Nothing is ever really about right or wrong, good or bad in NLP terms, it is more about what serves us, empowers us and adds to the positive and fulfilling quality of our lives.
The main reason for people wanting more out of life and yet not achieving it is their inability to take regular and consistent action that leads them towards their goals. The reason for this is their inability to get themselves to feel the way that they have to feel to take the action.
For anyone to succeed in making desired adjustments and modifications to their life and achieve their goals whatever they may be then mastery of pain and pleasure associations is a fundament necessity. In doing so they will empower their mind to take pleasure in those things that must be done to achieve what they want.
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