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    Change your life right away and stop putting it off taking advantage of the pleasure and pain

    Who I am
    Louise Hay
    @louisehay
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    One thing is certain to me: we human beings never act randomly; there is always a reason behind our actions. Everything we do is determined by a driving force. It is a force that affects every aspect of our life, from romantic relationships to personal finance, from private life to work. The force that controls us, even if we don't always realize it, it is that generated by pain and pleasure. Everything we do, we do it either out of the need to avoid pain or out of the desire to experience pleasure.



    Nature has placed mankind under the dominion of two supreme masters: pain and pleasure. It is up to them only to indicate what we should do, as well as to determine what we will do. On the one hand the criterion of what is right or unjust, on the other the chain of causes and effects are linked to their throne. Pain and pleasure dominate us in everything we do, in everything we say, in everything we think.

    Jeremy bentham

    Many people want to make concrete changes in their life; yet they never manage to make up their minds to truly accomplish them. These people feel sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, helpless, because they know they should go to the facts, but they can't. The reason is simple: they focus solely on their behavior, which is merely the effect rather than worrying about change the cause behind it.

    Understanding and using the powerful forces of pleasure and pain will allow you to achieve lasting change and improvement. If you don't understand this force you risk having a life based on mere reaction, just like an animal or a machine. Think about it: what is postponing? It's when you know you should do something, and you don't make up your mind to do it. Why does this happen? What's holding you back? Quite simply the belief that acting now would be much more painful than postponing. And when is it that we finally decide to act? Only when what is associated with pleasure and pain changes. Suddenly, not taking action becomes more painful than taking action. There is, therefore, a kind of emotional threshold: below we continue to accept the current situation, but, once reached, we take action to change because that situation of immobility has now become unbearable. It will undoubtedly have happened to you too sometimes to reach a point of not endurance summarized by the following thought: “Enough, so I can't go on anymore; from now on we change register! ".



    What's stopping you from doing whatever it takes to make your life wonderful? What is holding you back from approaching that woman or man you like? What is hindering you from undertaking that entrepreneurial initiative you have been thinking about for some time? What are you waiting for to look for a new job if the current one doesn't satisfy you? Why do you keep putting off a diet? Why don't you make up your mind to quit smoking? Why don't you finish college and complete your exams or thesis?

    The answer is simple: even if you know that certain actions would benefit you, you do not take action because the moment you postpone you associate more pain with the idea of ​​what you have to do, rather than the idea of ​​missing the opportunity. You think it is worse and more inconvenient to act than not to act; and then postpone. Furthermore, you are negatively influenced by the risk, as often the fear of losing is stronger than the desire to win. Most people are more willing to take action to keep what they already have, rather than throwing themselves into the fray of life's challenges to get what they really want. The first is a conservative attitude that denotes a need for protection; the second, on the other hand, is an innovative attitude that requires a certain amount of risk. To change, you need to give up some certainty and be willing to take risks. Success often rewards the bravest.

    The motivational drive that leads us to change the situations that we no longer bear is not only linked to pain, but also and above all to experience. Together with the painful idea of ​​continuing to remain in a stalemate, the idea of ​​pleasure for the news that awaits us also takes over. This idea, linked to the desire to restore pleasure in our life is an extremely productive force. One decision you can make right away is to strive to associate the idea of ​​incredible pleasure with an aspect of your life that you would like to change. In this emotional process the reason plays a secondary role; but it is good to use it to distinguish what is positive from what is not. We all know, for example, that smoking is bad. Smokers know this too, and yet they continue to smoke, since the idea of ​​suffering that comes from quitting smoking is stronger than the idea associated with quitting smoking. In these cases it is advisable to use reasoning to distinguish what is a beneficial and lasting pleasure (to quit smoking) from a destructive and ephemeral pleasure (continue to smoke). If a smoker begins to associate the idea of ​​pain with smoking, knowing rationally that he must quit smoking because cigarettes are harmful, he could condition the unconscious part of his mind to convince himself that change is necessary. If he also associates an idea of ​​pleasure with quitting smoking, he could practically succeed at any moment! The important thing is not to base your decisions on what to associate with pleasure and what with pain only in the short term. We need to have a long-term perspective. Focusing on avoiding pain and getting pleasure in a short time does nothing but create long-term pain. If, for example, you want a muscular body, you literally have to sculpt it and that takes time and sacrifices. If, on the other hand, you mistakenly want to get a short-term result by using anabolic steroids, you will only harm yourself.



    I believe that pleasures should be avoided, greater pains ensue, and pains should instead be sought, which then end up in greater pleasures.

    Michel de Montaigne

    Change your life now: how to make the change

    First write down four things you should do that you have been putting off for a long time. Second: under each of these actions to be taken, write down why you haven't acted yet. Ask yourself: What pain have I associated with this action? Be honest with yourself. If you think there is no pain associated with it, think about it better. This is probably a simple pain, like taking time away from your daily tasks. Third: write all the pleasure you have experienced in the past through these negative behaviors that you would now like to change. To make lasting change, you need to find ways to have the same pleasures without negative consequences. Identifying the pleasure that, for example, smoking or overeating gives you, will help you better understand what your goal is. Fourth: write down how much it might cost you not to change right away. For example: what consequences will continuing to smoke or overeat will have on you? How much will it cost you in terms of health, emotion, self-esteem or image?


    Then write down all the pleasure you will feel doing these actions now. Make one list of things that give you emotions and that they really excite you. Imagine all the positive effects on both the present and the future. Think about how great it will be to feel the feeling of being in control of your life, of knowing that you are in control of your choices. You will gain great self-confidence. You will gain more energy and willpower, to be used in any field.


    Then carpe diem! There is nothing better than the present. I invite you to take the time to do this exercise by proving to yourself that you can control the forces of pleasure and pain in order to take advantage of them. Your life will improve in every sense, immediately, now.


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