Pleasure and Pain

I like to think that I am rather sophisticated and educated and that the reason that I do things is of truly egalitarian motivation…  You know, one of those really ‘higher level’ individuals that have shed the burden of earthly toil.  I see myself as raising above the squabble of the lower passions and that I am motivated by higher purpose in all that I do.

Yeah right!  Who am I kidding?  On my continual journey from survive to alive I pick up books of new authors on a regular basis.  Some of the stuff I read is really not that useful or I feel that it is nonsense, but I continue to search.  One of the authors that I have been avoiding for many years is Tony Robbins.  Rah, rah, rah!… That is pretty much what I thought of him – a flamboyant charlatan posing as a one-size-fits-all self-help guru.

Yet, I pride myself of being one of those ‘higher level’ individuals, so let me not judge.  With this thought in mind I picked up Awakening the Giant Within, a book Tony Robbins wrote before the turn of the millennium and before  the world drastically changed.  So perhaps it is all out-dated…

With positive expectation, none-the-less, I started reading and in those first few pages I read something I have possibly considered before.  I mean, c’mon man!  I continuously ask myself: WHAT MOTIVATES US?!  I have a masters degree, completed various business and leadership courses and I have not been able to truly identify the driving force behind our decisions.  And what do I find here in the pages of this book?  …Our decisions are emotionally driven in order to avoid pain or experience pleasure.  Could it really be that we shape our pain and pleasure paradigm through our experience and accordingly realign our actions in order to either avoid pain or experience pleasure?

With confounded intrigue and curiosity I read on and applied the theory, with reflection, to myself.  Have I been caught in a trap of pain/pleasure confusion that leads to excuses and inaction?  Yes!  Indeed I have experienced some traumatic events, lived through pain and rejection and have allowed that to shape my pain/pleasure paradigm.  I am telling myself, before it will actually happen, that certain activities will lead to pain.  I then complete this wonderful cycle by reinforcing it with mental pictures of how I am going to suffer, but it has not even happened yet!

Anybody out there feel the same?

The question is how is this keeping me from going from being alive?  In my next post I will continue this discussion…