Pleasure over pain or pain over pleasure? You decide. To be clear, this is in the context of either taking action on something, or putting it off. We know taking action will be inherently good for us, yet also we’ll often associate taking action as something that is not particularly fun or pleasurable. The alternative? Put it off! Relax…unwind instead. Surely that’s more of an appealing option? After all, are we not all pleasure-seeking beings?
Sometimes, when we choose pleasure over pain the long-term ramifications might not appear all that significant to us. We’ll minimise these long-term ramifications by bargaining with ourselves, promising that we’ll simply “get serious tomorrow” but as for today “it’s no big deal if I just unwind a bit, see my friends, watch that movie etc.” Or we may try convince ourselves of a story like “I’m too tired and stressed to get anything done now anyway”.
Usually the stories we tell ourselves are totally untrue. But the lure of pleasure in the present moment is extremely powerful. So how can we delay this gratification, in order to get more serious in the present moment? Two ways: Changing your perspective and changing your perception. Simple as that.
With perspective, you should try to keep the long-term perspective in mind. What is the likely long-term outcome going to be of continuing on with this pattern of simply putting off worthy tasks and seeking immediate gratification instead? How is your future going to be impacted by continuing on in this manner? While on the flip-side; how is your long-term future going to be positively affected by taking the reins now and pro-actively doing what is necessary? Forming those healthy habits. Living that healthy lifestyle.
Surely this is the way to ensure your true future happiness, as well as true future pleasure? This leads us onto perception…
Instead of perceiving taking action in the present moment as something painful, and perceiving putting it off as something more pleasurable, this needs to be reversed. Taking action now is, in fact, what will lead us to this pleasure we are seeking, while putting things off is likely what will continue leading us to the pain we are trying to avoid. You can create a life of abundance and deep satisfaction for yourself, or you can create a life of mediocracy; a life of simply getting by. It is your responsibility for the type of life you create for yourself. It comes down to the decisions you make in the here and now. And those decisions will be influenced and swayed by the perceptions and perspectives you hold.