Pain and Pleasure

There are two primal forces which control us: seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.
Taken from Freud’s Pleasure Principal, this mode of behavior aims to satisfy biological and psychological needs at our core.

Yet if this was the case, why do we willingly do things that cause us pain?

Why do we still having people die from obesity and smoke cancer?

Surely we know smoking, drugs, alcohol, gambling, fast food etc. are bad for us, yet the companies who make products these aren’t without customers.

What’s going on under the hood?

The answer is in the balance of the two forces.

We will typically associate more pleasure to the hear and now, than the pain it will cause in the future.

For example, exercise.

I’d hazard a guess that majority of people hold the belief that it feels better to not exercise, than to exercise.

Because we are associating more pain to exercising than to not exercise, even though the pleasure (and benefits) of it are just as commonly known.

Take in inverse, fast food.

It feels better to eat fast food, than to avoid fast food.

Even though later you are in pain and it has long term negative effects.

Use The Force(s)

So, what can do to use these forces so that it benefits us long term? Here are a few ways.

  1. Take a neutral position and observe your behavior/s. Write down what you are eating, how much you drinking, smoking etc. Just knowing what you do gives you insights into what may need to change.
  2. Have a goal. What do you want and why do you want that? Does your behavior/s need to change to reach it?
  3. What would the do if you knew you could not fail?
  4. Use these Cartesian Coordinates to determine the different courses of actions

4. Ask yourself what is the cost of the long running held belief or action over time.

Only by getting familiar with these two forces can we see if it’s serving us for the long run or just instant gratification.
We here at The Lazy Society always recommend starting with the ‘why‘, and feel free to hop into our Discord to connect with one of our mentors and learn more.

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