I tell you what, I love setting myself high standards and I try as often as possible to do this.

How did your standard setting go last week?

Did you manage to raise the bar?

Did you expose some weaknesses and turn them into opportunities?

Remember this key high standards quote that I love:

“Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.”

When I formed The Hub, ‘low standards’ and ‘just getting by’ were two principles I refused to accept. To set the scene back in May last year, I had just gone on my honeymoon when I formed The Hub. Crazy I know and not the norm but just before I left on a Thursday afternoon an opportunity came about that I just couldn’t turn down. It would have been easy to just wait until I got back but spending 30 minutes on the hotel Wi-Fi each day whilst the wife was getting ready wasn’t an issue. One of my standards is that if a job needs doing it needs doing whist it is red hot in your mind. It just so happens that those quick fire 30 minute sessions on the honeymoon set the standards for how I have operated since…amazing how life works out isn’t it?

So this week’s article and following on from step 5 in the “setting high standards” process from last week,  I want to talk to you about the pain and pleasure principle…so what is the pain and pleasure principle?

Well, I want to start the topic with an amazing Tony Robbins quote which reads:

“Secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure, instead of having pain and pleasure use you.”

The pain-pleasure principle lies at the core of everything you do, and of everything you are. Some of the work of Adam Silicki is second to none in this field and I revisit his articles often and I advise you do too. He can be found at www.iqmatrix.com. Your beliefs, values and rules are all built upon this key principle of pain and pleasure. The decisions you make, the actions you take, and the habits you indulge in, are all based upon this huge principle. In fact, every part of your psyche is influenced in some way by the pain pleasure principle. You are therefore who you are today because of how you have interpreted and behaved upon the experience of pain and pleasure in your life. And as we all know action always begins with a decision. Agree?

Over the years you will have had a variety of personal experiences that have touched your life in some way. Some of these experiences have been painful and have consequently led to the emotions of anger, stress, anxiety, frustration, depression, etc. Other experiences have been pleasurable and have led to the emotions of happiness, joy, enthusiasm, love, gratitude, excitement, etc.

All of the emotional experiences you have had are neither good nor bad; they are neither hurtful nor helpful. They are what they are as a result of how you interpreted these experiences at that specific time. Therefore your experiences of pain and pleasure are nothing more than personal interpretations based on your perspectives at the time.

Because your experiences are based on the interpretations you have made, it’s therefore safe to say that different people will have different interpretations of the same experience. As such, what you interpret as a painful experience, another person might interpret as a pleasurable experience. In other words, you might experience a situation that makes you feel angry, which leads to pain. At the same time, another person will have the same experience, however instead of feeling angry, they choose to feel curious. Both of you had the same experience, however your interpretations of that experience was different, and you therefore experience a very different emotion. Everyone is different after all.

All of these experiences you have had come in the form of references. When similar references are collected about certain things, that is when opinions start to form. Then as more and more references are collected about something over time, that is when your beliefs start to take shape. And as beliefs start taking shape, they begin to guide every single decision you make and action you take.

Every decision you make will lead to one or more of the following consequences:

  1. Short-term pain
  2. Short-term pleasure
  3. Long-term pain
  4. Long-term pleasure

Now analyse some of your decisions recently and see what categories they fall into. It’s not as hard as you may think.

As an example, you might for instance be on a 60 day diet program. However, after day 20 you just can’t resist the urge of the temptations hiding in your kitchen cupboards, and you decide to indulge yourself by scoffing down a huge packet of Walkers crisps and a massive bag of Haribo. In this scenario you chose short-term pleasure because the pain of going through another 40 days of this diet was just too unbearable. Remember that these decisions you’re making are nothing more than conditioned responses that have been learned over the course of your life and are now deeply ingrained into your psyche — manifesting in the form of your beliefs, values, psychological rules, etc. These are the parts of you that are influencing the daily choices and decisions you make, however these parts have been conditioned into your mind-set as a result of how you have interpreted and responded to pain and pleasure in your life.

All this just goes to show how absolutely critical it is to stay conscious and vigilant of why you do what you do throughout the day. And if you don’t like the direction you are moving towards, then do something about it. It’s all about taking action.

I want you to pick 5 actions you took recently and look at why you chose those specific actions. What would you do differently if you had the chance again?

So there you have it, a nice in depth look into the pain and pleasure principle. I use this regularly with all my clients and it has been proven to work, you just have to be honest with yourself and accept that changes will be coming your way.

A leaving quote for you:

“Both pleasure and pain are great teachers; now use them both to move forward positively.

Happy Thursday to you, what pains and pleasures are you going to use to your advantage this week?

Pain is bad and pleasure is good isn’t it????