Everything we do is unconsciously driven for us to feel pleasure and to avoid pain.Look at your daily routine; you will see that things you avoid being labeled as “pain,” and things you do more often are marked as “pleasure.”
Even the most essential things.
The problem with our human brain is that many of the things that we dream of or wish to accomplish, require us to let go of short term pleasures.
Take losing weight for an example.Of course, eating all this chocolate ice cream will make you feel right at the moment, but in the following weeks, once you start gaining weight, feeling more massive and more tired, you will ask yourself why you did it.
So the short term pleasure results in long term pain.
We can look at the opposite – short term pain can lead to long term pleasure. The hard things we do now can help us reap the results we want to in the future.
Let’s go back to the weight loss example.In the short term, jogging and sweating for an hour straight is probably less comfortable than sitting on the couch and watching T.V.
But, it will result in future weight loss, and if that’s your goal – then the short term pain of jogging will result in a long term pleasure – of losing weight.
Same with almost anything in life.Business, new habits, new skills, new relationships.
Anything worthwhile will require short term pain and certain sacrifices that your brain will not like.
Why is that?Well, mostly because your brain is wired to survive, not necessarily thrive.
Your brain would prefer you to sit all day being safe, then trying new things and new challenges that require energy.You see, our brains have evolved to save up energy to survive.
We don’t learn this in school of course, but if you read certain studies such as written by DR. David Buss in his magnificent book: “Evolutionary psychology”, you will learn how our brain tricks us every day to take the more comfortable, and faster path.
So what can you do to live a happier life?First, realize that it starts with setting goals and targets. What do you want? What get’s you excited? How do you picture your perfect life?
Start asking yourself these questions to understand what should be your end goal.
If you live on autopilot and every day is the same day, you will feel burnt out and get depressed, as you might be feeling already.
It all starts with your relationship with yourself. If you want to change, sit yourself down, and start asking yourself hard questions. Questions that you have might not ever asked yourself and that others never dared to ask.
What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?What would you do if you had one year to live?What experiences would you take? How would you treat other people?
What would you do if you couldn’t fail?
These hard questions might create short-term pain for you to answer them, and they might bring up some uncomfortable emotions.
Remember that growth requires sacrifices, and that short term pain will most likely lead to long term pleasure.
Take some time to think about your future and take ownership of your life’s results.
It’s never too late to start, but it will be too late if you never take any action on figuring out these answers.