- Pleasure that is immediate, impulsive, and requires no or little sustained effort and
- Pleasure that is the result of work… sustained effort.
No matter what pleasure you seek, what makes it pleasure is the contrast:
there needs to be pain for pleasure to exist. 1
Although I could write about pleasure that you earn through hard and sustained work, and I have written hundreds of articles about it, people with too small capacity for pain (TLB) rarely turn around and become people who want to earn their pleasure.
Pain is a discomfort. Most pain is emotional or intellectual, only some are physical.
What is the difference between the behavior of a low pain threshold person and a high pain threshold person?
I will use myself and my behavior…
I can go both ways. I can be a pain avoider and I can also be a sustained effort worker bee…
Where do I look to say this?
As I watch myself when I become restless, want to jump up, do something, eat, just run around, buy something… what I find is that there is a pain/tension I am trying to avoid… fear, discomfort, impending doom, the picture of slavery or suffering, something ugly, evil, unpleasant, feeling stupid, feeling insufficient…
Which tells me that the brain is multitasking: it is doing its projection of doom and gloom in the background.
I have learned to notice the behavior and instead of resisting it, bring all my attention to it. I have learned that the tension can behave like the monsters under the bed, in the closet, disappear when you turn on the light. 3
I once had an employee who was getting ready to get married. I watched her and saw that she was pretending to work… but work wasn’t getting done.
I gave her clear instructions on how to deal with her mind stealing her from doing the work. I said:
“When the thought comes that will want your attention, stop doing anything else, and take the thought to its conclusion. When you are done, acknowledge it to yourself, and get back to work.
Multitasking makes you stupid and unproductive. You actually lose 30% of your intelligence…”
It worked like a charm… she started to produce like before.
The same applies to you when the urges come up to jump up, and do something else.
Your job is to stop doing what you are doing, reading, studying, writing, or even watching a movie and turn completely and give all your attention to the interloper. Get curious: what is the anticipated pain? Is the disruption justified or not? Is it a desire to avoid pain, or is it a desire to do something useful and maybe even urgent instead of being oblivious?
Occasionally you’ll notice that those pesky thoughts interlope on work, or interlope on pleasure…
So no matter what activity you are in, work or pleasure, and take a minute or two to see clearly what the thought is saying, and evaluate if a change of action is required or not.
Instead of resisting the thought, instead of just being hijacked, become a person who makes decisions, instead of being a puppet whose decisions are made for him… or her. No gender preferences in this behavior.
I am the perfect laboratory specimen to observe:
- I am relatively high producer
- I am extremely prone to avoidance behavior… which is just another word of “pleasure seeking” behavior.
When things go well, and there are no money/health/relationship pressures, or there are no “impending doom” worries, I am a high producer…
When I have worries of where the next paycheck is going to come from: I tend to become flighty.
I behave much like the tiny birds that spend 90 percent of their time at the bird bath fretting, and only 10% drinking water.
Exactly the opposite of what would work: take time to ponder what would make money, what I could actually do to earn my rent. Give the issue my attention…
The same is true with any deadline, any activity I am not sure how to do, anything that threatens me to feel stupid or insufficient or powerless. Making a phone call that is important. Making a request, writing a letter, filling out a form… All anxiety producing, because the outcome is dubious or uncertain.
So how is it that with all that interruption seemingly I am consistently a high producer?
Simple… I bring the background to the foreground and I engage with the thoughts. As equals.
Some thoughts cannot be, should not be ignored. If you ignore them, they get louder and louder, like children. So you need to engage, have a conversation, make an agreement, a promise, or cancel a promise or an agreement. Like a person.
For example, the rent… 1. stating the obvious: I have $200 missing for my rent and I have no outstanding payments to count on. 2. Saying: I likely will not have the rent on the first. I will let the landlord know ahead of time… I’ll send an email to let him know now.
I have just passed the ball to the landlord, and I can now return to work.
So, let’s see what happened here? Communication happened.
Problem solving happened. In communication.
So why aren’t you doing the same?
- you are afraid to face the tiger… in this case the issue. Remember the great white tiger story? The little kids, in their dreams, hid from the great white tiger. The little bigger kids tricked or outran the tiger, but the kids, 14 and older faced the tiger in their dreams.Your behavior is young kid behavior. You need to grow up and start practicing meeting the tiger head on.
You’ll find out that it is much less painful than you imagined. And you’ll find out that it gives you back your life to you.So how do you grow up fast? What do you need? You need the capacity of courage activated. And once it’s activated, you need to, relentlessly stop when the fear comes up, and face the fear, face the issue, face the interloper.Most of the time you’ll need nothing more than communication. That leads us to the second reason:
- You never learned to communicate, never learned to negotiate, never learned that everything can be resolved in communication…I was 40 when I first learned about communication. I have spent a lot of time and a lot of money getting trained.I am not trained to train you… I have no certificates… but I can help you design a communication of requests and promises, that will solve 90% of this pleasure seeking/avoiding pain behavior, so you can become someone who can be trusted to get things done, to start doing things that make you worth a damn… so you can start deserving in life what you want.”Requests and promises workshop… learn to face the tiger” of how to resolve everything in communication…
You can ask about this workshop on the Meet and Greet on Wednesday… Really, you can ask about anything.
It’s also a great opportunity for you to hear me, observe me, and see if you feel you can learn from me.
It is hard to learn from someone you don’t like.4
PS: Only about 10% of this site’s readers ever participate in anything, comment, buy stuff, or come to a call. My diagnosis: they are pleasure seekers and pain avoiders.
They gobble up my articles, especially the gossipy ones, where I knock someone or their work, and avoid the pain of facing themselves, facing their dark side, facing how delusional they are… which is inevitable if you want to participate with me.
I have ruthless compassion for you… Ruthless… I’ll hold up a mirror and you’ll hate what you see. And compassionate, because I know that underneath it all you’d love to be a person who can love yourself, experience real pleasure, be worth a damn. I know. And I feel for you.
Because you don’t have the tools to deal with what has you, what owns you, what runs your life.
And you have never become an adult, a person, to face the tiger.
PS: What you’ll learn in the Face The Tiger workshop
This is a recorded version of the workshop… Videos.
- You’ll deal with all kinds of “tigers”… your fear, your avoidance of tasks, conflicts, anger, jealousy, disagreements that you can learn to deal with, in communication, in a way that is nurturing to you, and restores you to peace, and wholeness.
- You’ll learn to handle adversity in communication. Through a conversation that is not yelling, but negotiating. With yourself, with another, but from a totally different place than the threatening place you know all too well.
When do you need it?
- Every time there is a change, whether it is you who makes it or someone else… it creates an upset.
- When you have a disappointment.
- When you need something but don’t know how to ask for it.
- When you are in trouble… or trouble is on the horizon.
Most of the time you can settle the problem with yourself, transform it to a non-issue. But some issues don’t disappear without talking to the other party.
Through moves in communication, it is possible to get to an understanding, an agreement, that can work for both parties…
Instead of hiding from what needs to be attended to, with practice, you’ll be able to resolve breakdowns, dissolve fears, doubts, anxiety, and return to life working, and you being unstuck.
- Hunger makes food pleasurable… lust makes sex pleasurable… tiredness makes sleep pleasurable…
- It comes mostly while I read, while I work, while I watch a movie, while I talk to someone… hijacking me…
- Update: It takes reflection to see that what activated me is the monster under the bed… So nowadays I take a note of what activated me and pop a mineral pill… and voilà I am free to continue doing what I was doing. My insight is that there is something in the food or in the water that makes us weak… and Lithium Orotate compensates for it. It removes the tension reliably. I am not the anxious type, so I don’t know if it removes anxiety, but it does remove tension… Does this mean I am a weak person? I don’t care, honestly…
- If Tai Lopez continued doing his steps in the same obnoxious, forceful, intense style he did the first few steps, I’d have canceled, because it is not worth the pain… the tension… and I probably would not have learned a thing. Thank god, he changed his style… and I have been able to learn a lot.