Pain and pleasure are two key components that drive us indirectly toward our goals.
Pain is widely defined as unpleasant practice, those who define it negatively, consider it should be avoided.
Whereas Pleasure sounds very smooth and calm, in order to achieve tasks (that will lead us to goals), do what you find pleasurable.
This misconception sometimes pauses us and we lose our track.
Truth is we need both in order to keep moving with balance. It’s because pain is unavoidable and pleasure depends on our choice and environment.
We must understand it and view pain as self-discipline, and pleasure as motivation. Everytime we can’t stay motivated and in those moments we need to put self-discipline into practice, by using pain.
Let’s try to view the positive side of pain.
Watch reward in that pain
While learning a new skill or studying for an exam you might feel painful aka discomforting, and in that moment if we opt to look for the reward behind that discomfort, that is, the opportunity to make ourselves more valuable for the world with a new skill and getting better opportunities if we perform well in exams. We will be able to push ourselves to next level.
One way to search for reward in painful tasks is thinking long term.
Think long term
In order to view the reward behind that discomforting task we get to think this way, “what will ultimately happen/what will be the result if I keep doing what I am doing right now?”
Let’s understand it more clearly with the most common example.
While exercising all of us feel pain and most of us even quit it because results are not visible. Sometimes we need to simplify processes and adopt simple beliefs in order to think long term.
Here in this situation we can simplify process with this self-talk “okay I get to do XYZ exercises for X days then I will develop Y muscle”, and adopt simple belief “I can’t physically see results in just a month so I get to keep doing it over a month to notice something”.
Humans crave to see results earlier, which is not possible to view physically but we can see results if we visualise them, think long term, if you keep exercising suggested exercises for recommended time, you will get results.
Pain can develop good habits
Have you been sick for a long time? Most of you might have been. But how did you change yourself after that sickness?
Normally people ignore their sickness and adopt daily routine after that, getting nothing out of it. Some come out of it with habits to reduce chances of getting sick again by forming habits.
How exactly use pain to make habit?
Conscious people come out of such situation with a question and find its answers.
- Feel pain, if kept consuming alcohol it could damage entire body and eventually death (in the worst case scenario), overuse of digital screens can damage eyes, etc.
- Question when you are sick or in any pain. For eg. in order to develop an exercising habit all of us feel some discomfort and pain. In that situation we can ask ourselves, “How much do I prioritise my health?”, “Is exercising really helpful?” and “What will happen if I am not healthy?”
- Remind answers-We know answers to all those questions, either we ignore them or come up with excuses to avoid them. Get answers and you will find where you stand currently.(Kind of, rate 1-10 where you stand in the health part of your life)
- Next is, decide what habit to adopt, what exercises, and how your diet should be.
The more pain you see in future it is more likely you want to avoid it, that will motivate you to form a habit and also ditch a bad habit.
Pain gives reason to push our limits
Fascinating leaders have emerged from painful backgrounds like poverty, depression, struggle, etc. In order to reach to a position where they are today they had pushed themselves through painful period of struggle.
Someone in painful face of life does not choose to push, but most of the time he isn’t left with any choice but to push himself.
Trick to push yourself with pain:
If we link massive pain to not taking action we will avoid indulging in it at all costs. The trick is to go through that pain and achieve the ultimate goal. All of us know the result of not acting on our ideas, that result is more painful (guilt, bad health, no income streams, etc.) than current pain we’re trying to avoid. And if we are able to visualise that massive pain, we’ll have a strong reason in front of us to act over current pain to avoid pain we might get over not taking action.
You are what you do,
not what you say you will do.
We have reason to do something. We have energy to do it. So what’s missing?
Is it Motivation? Come on we can’t be motivated every time which is where self-discipline comes.
Initially self-discipline feels very painful and with time it becomes a habit. So sometimes it’s better to push ourselves through this pain.
You get to think long term, ask questions– what will change if I act/don’t act?, find answers, when we dig deep with our questions we get to understand ourselves more clearly. Which of course guides us for better us.
Connect more pain with not acting, using this you’ll be able to see reason to push yourself and acting on you idea/habit will be much easier then, because most of the time we need reason to do something.
Reminder: Stay aware of your mental health, over pushing might depress you.