Are You Motivated By Pain or Pleasure?

Are You Motivated By Pain or Pleasure?

We all want to succeed and find our dreams, but despite how much we want these things, it can be hard to stay motivated. This is why we tend to spend more time looking for our motivation than actually working on our dreams.

If you can relate, then you know all about chasing motivation. You look for it in books, people, and yes, posts like these. So the question becomes: how do we maximize our motivation and break the quick fix cycle of chasing motivation instead of actual action?

The answer may depend on your motivation orientation. That is, are you a person motivated more by pain or pleasure?

Knowing which force drives you most can give you freaky power to motivate yourself and others, because you will know which buttons to push and when. Here’s how and why:

Pleasure or Pain : Which Are You?

Pleasure people and pain people have different ways of evaluating things. Pleasure people see the world as a candy store, while pain people see it as a gun store. One is about treats, goodies, and delectables, the other is about protection, prevention, and threat of loss.

Here is a simple chart that shows differences in how pleasure people and pain people see things.

CategoryPleasure PeoplePain People
DesiresI wantI don’t want
EvaluationsThat’s greatThat’s great, but
FinancesTo do things I wantFinancial freedom, security
ProblemsGet them over withAvoid, put off, prevent
HealthTo look goodPrevent health issues
EducationTo accomplish moreCompetitive security
FunYesDepends on cost
Action based onVision & PossibilityReason & Logic
EgoSelf defined (inside)Relatively defined (outside)

Which would you classify yourself more as, pleasure or pain? You may find that you are a mixture of both, because complete polarization to one side or the other is virtually impossible.

In fact, you may find that motivation from pleasure and pain is highly contextual. At work you are pain driven; with family you are pleasure driven. The key is to calibrate yourself to find out which side you favor in what situations. Once you figure that out you can begin to cater to the needs of your orientation.

Next is a more detailed outline of pleasure people and pain people along with strategies to motivate each type.

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