what motivates you: pleasure or pain?

Do you work hard to avoid the embarrassment of not having enough and making good on your promises? Or…do you work hard because there’s so much of life to experience and you want it all? Reputation, or self-satisfaction. What the Joneses think, or the merit of your inclinations. The destination, or the journey. The fact is that when it comes to motivation and goal-reaching, you’re either avoiding the whip, or going for the gold.

PLEASURE SEEKING

When you’re focused on the rewards of what you’re doing, you’re in the driver’s seat of your life. Whether the reward is feeling powerful; or it’s the best cashmere that money can buy, or it’s a mental health day off of work, when your intention is fixed on moving forward you’re taking full responsibility for getting where you want to go. And when satisfaction is up to you, it’s much sweeter when you get it.

PAIN AVOIDING

When your choices are based on deflecting or avoiding uncomfortable feelings, like embarrassment or regret or dislocation, you’re taking a back seat to your true power. When you’re focused on what you could lose, the possible winnings shrivel in direct proportion to your fear of loss. And even if you get what you supposedly want, you’ve still put yourself in a crazy game of dodging the bad stuff in hopes of getting the good stuff. As Lily Tomlin put it, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

The great fear motivators of human nature:
: What other people think of me: I better do what’s expected.
: What other people want from me: I better give all that I can.
: What other people can give to me: I better be nice to get what I want.

If your to-do list is based on avoiding pain, you may as well hook yourself up to a laser that jolts you every time you dare to make a self-fulfilling decision.

I’d rather be in the Bahamas. Zzzzzt! I should dump the chump. Zzzzzt! I was made for greater things than this. Zzzzzt!

Studies show that positive reinforcement with children fosters self-esteem and better problem-solving skills. Praise the good, deflect the bad. The power of accentuating the positive isn’t something we grow out of. In fact, the practice of cultivating positivity is defines a life.

Positively powerful motivators:

If your choices elicit a full-on yes! to any of the following questions, then you’re choosing from a place of true creative power.

: Is this moving me forward?
: Do I feel more like myself?
: Does this clear the way for good stuff to show up?
: Will I sleep peacefully tonight?
: Would my kid {or grandma, or best friend} be proud of me?

The great shift from the pain motivation to pleasure motivation, is based on trust, of course. Trusting that when you say no to what doesn’t serve you, life says yes to your greatness. Trusting that you deserve to be fulfilled. Period. No justifications necessary. And trusting that you will get what you want by being true to yourself.

The rewards are infinite…and they feel real good.

related posts
Featured @2x 456x456 (19)

5 pointers for developing freedom-based creativity & work habits. Which is to say, you’ve got to dissolve guilt and rock your own rhythm.

A note on CREATIVE FLOW…. I’m “working” today. Wasn’t planning on it. It’s a sunny, gorgeous Vancouver Sunday. But since my kid is running around the block with his neighbour buddies, I’m using this time to write, respond, vision.

456x456-Are you hanging by a thread?

Are you hanging by a thread?

It’s hard. It’s wrenching. It’s incredibly painful and it’s difficult to feel lightness. Or to see clearly. Hanging by a thread can be really disorienting. What you’re going through undeniably sucks. It may be hard to believe right now, but not only will it be okay, not only will you get through and over this, you will thrive again…

456x456-in praise of women- magnificent, spacious, fiery witnesses

in praise of women: magnificent, spacious, fiery witnesses

I often hear “women are our own worst enemies” in terms of our culture. I’m tired of that argument. I think everyone is their own worst enemy, and I don’t think it’s about something women have specifically against each other.

Featured @2x 456x456 (17)

[VIDEO] Deep creativity and the jitters. Feel the doubt…and be of service anyway.

There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark…

Social 1 @2x

My SuperSoul100 brunch with Oprah (yep!) and support notes for all of you Lightworkers and generally progressive humans…

There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark…

Featured @2x 456x456 (16)

The difference between happiness & joy. And why it helps to know.

There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark…

Original-Self-Help-July-28-When-You’re-Done-Fighting-For-It

When you’re done fighting for it. The upside of finally giving up.

Do you know the story of the man who was hitting himself over the head with a hammer? “Why do you keep hitting yourself with that hammer?” a shocked passerby asked him. “Because,” the man replied, “it’s going to feel so good when I stop.”

Featured @2x 456x456 (14)

You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice.

I travelled to Dharamshala, India with six friends to meet with The Dalai Lama. It was cell-altering and heart-expanding. The week before our arrival, there had been a horrible event in which some monks were murdered — most shockingly, by other monks. The story was on everyone’s mind and in our small, private meeting with His Holiness, the first thing we did was offer our condolences. His response captivated me…

Featured @2x 456x456 (12)

You’re going to feel guilty

The guilty feeling associated with desire, with going after what you want, with transforming….you know that feeling? It’s like tar on your mojo. Maybe you were raised in an environment where desire was considered a negative thing. Or your social circle constantly reinforces the message that you shouldn’t dare to bust out. And maybe you frequently feel guilty for wanting what you want — and you know that it’s causing blocks in your life…

Featured @2x 456x456 (11)

Love your sadness. It won’t last.

I was feeling it. Pure sadness — the inescapability of it plowing through the softest part of me. When you’re in that kind of painful place you’ll try to climb the walls to get away from it. You want it over with. “Love your sadness. It won’t last long.” A friend texted me late at night. I caught it just as I was turning off my bedroom light….

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This