Most of our decisions in life are motivated by whether they give us pleasure or pain. The pleasure versus pain principle can be transforming or destructive to our wellbeing depending on our understanding of how we allow it to affect our decision making. Once we understand this principle, (that is our constant avoidance of pain and our desire for pleasure) and how it works we can make choices that will transform our lives for the better.
Discipline and willpower are the only tools most of us were introduced to in the schoolroom to assist us in the creation of our lives and fulfillment of our dreams. I argue that once we understand the pleasure/pain principle we realise why we make the choices we do we – and therefore become free to create the futures of our dreams.
- Humans operate with a stronger desire to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. Therefore our desire to create wealth and have financial abundance is limited by our fear of experiencing pain should we falter on our path to a lucrative future.
- We associate activities such as saving and investing our money with pain because we are denying ourselves the instant gratification of what makes us feel good. Reframing our picture of pain to spending money can help us transform our futures! Denying some immediate material pleasures such as a new car, and instead investing in the stock market will ultimately cause us pleasure.
- We associate the steps of wealth creation such as using the equity in our homes to create a more secure financial future with pain because of our fear of potential failure. This fear of failure (pain) stops us even trying. Our constant avoidance of pain makes things harder for us in the long run, and we do not live our lives to the fullest. These lost opportunities could have given us the ultimate pleasure of financial freedom and success in the longer term if our fear of pain had not shackled us in non-action.
- We associate work with pain. Most of us are in 9-5 jobs and slaves to our mortgage and struggling to pay our bills yet we continue to do this as we think we are avoiding the pain of risk. We think that by diligently working at our jobs we have security.
We are able to change what we link pain and pleasure to and therefore re-frame our perspectives, such as linking pleasure with saving money and pain with spending money, enabling a more lucrative and independent life ahead. You can take actions to create the results you want for your future and that of your family it is all about deciding to have different emotions (pain or pleasure) about your actions like spending or saving.