Pain and Pleasure comes down to your Commitments and Interests.
This past week I was having a conversation with a client and I realized what was truly holding them back. And it might be the same with you. Deep within all of us we have the capacity to express 4600 different human emotions. Yes, that many. And we ALL will express them day in and day out. In fact, throughout each and everyday we will all oscillate through these different emotions.
Half of all these emotions make us feel upbeat and positive. This may be feeling ambitious, admired, brilliant, focused, dynamic, happy or powerful… The other 2300 human emotions make us feel crappy or even down and out. A few examples of these may be feeling weak, worthless, abandoned, guilty, scared or skeptical…
The news flash for everyone is that it doesn’t matter how a person looks, dresses or behaves they will still oscillate through these 4600 different emotions on a daily basis. The reality is that when we feel positive and upbeat it’s pretty easy to do the things that we know are good for us and moving us towards more pleasure and less pain. This may be exercising, eating the right foods, pouring our hearts into our work or even treating our friends and family with the respect they deserve.
On the other hand when we’re feeling a little or a lot “down” it can be pretty tough to get things done and keep living on purpose. So when we’re in this state do we sit in our safe harbours and wait till the emotional highs of life make things easy again?
You can live your life 2 ways. You can do what “interests” you (more pain) or you can fulfill your “commitments” (more pleasure).
Living by your Interests
When you live according to your interests you are an emotionally driven person. This is fantastic when the wind of life is behind you because you’ll have so much momentum. On the flip side, when you are experiencing a head wind, such as being emotionally stressed, challenged or just down you are not going to get much accomplished.
What I’ve learned in my life personally and professionally is that when you live your life based on your emotional guidance system, it leads to a lot more pain, hardships and dreams getting flushed down the toilet. This is because you will only do the things that interest you. Which really means that you’ll do things based on how convenient they are. When life gets a little inconvenient you just step back and say you were never truly interested in pursuing that dream or goal anyway. (Which is just another emotionally driven lie, leading to more pain and dissatisfaction of life)
I believe that most peeps in our world live their lives this way. Living guided by their emotions/interests.
Living by your Commitments
The other way you can choose to live your life is by your commitments. A commitment is the act of making an obligation or promise that will direct your actions towards a specific outcome, vision or purpose “No Matter What”. We all have done this in some areas of our lives. This word “commitment” makes the biggest difference in all of our lives.
Now remember, we ALL have 4600 human emotions. Half of which we’ll love and embrace and the other half which will make us feel like we just got hit by a dump truck. If you live your life based on your interests you’ll only fully express yourself less than half of the time you should be. Because even when you’re feeling momentum procrastination can still creep in. And when those other 2300 crappy emotions are crawling up in you they will dictate you, control you and it’s not a very pretty site.
However, when we understand that we are something far greater than our emotions (yes you are) we’re able to transcend them. When we’re feeling down or uninspired we default back to our original commitments. These commitments will override your emotional guidance system so you’re staying on purpose and still in the pursuit of your life’s pleasures. This will get you out of the ruts and pains of life so quickly.
This past weekend I had a long several hour ride and transition run in the cold pouring rain. It would have been so easy to just stay in and read a book. And every emotion in my body and mind was telling me to do just that. I also had my first open water swim this past weekend. Again, feeling pretty uninspired I really wasn’t up for it.
Well, I still got out for the ride, run and swim. I completely froze my ass off in that open water swim and felt like I was growing icicles on my face, hands and feet. It was actually one of the worst open water swims I’ve ever had. I was in there for 90 minutes and this ice cold lake made my feet and hands so cold that they were completely numb and I couldn’t move them. Now even though it wasn’t the greatest training session I still got through it, built huge amounts of mental strength and was super grateful after.
Your Pain… Your Pleasure!
This is your life so I ask you to live it the way you want to. It makes absolutely no difference to me. However, if you want to be fulfilled, inspired and master your life (lotsa pleasure) you’ll have a very challenging time accomplishing that if you’re driven by your interests and emotions (lotsa pain).
On the flip side, if you truly want to be fulfilled and a lot more happy than sad, living by your commitments instead of the daily roller coaster grind of emotions, will enable you to take daily action and stay on purpose (a heck of a lot more pleasure).
Time to get on it my friends!
To Your Mastery,
And remember… When you’re committed to something you will accomplish it no matter what, if you’re simply interested you’ll only do it when it’s convenient