Are You Motivated By Pain or Pleasure?

Are You Motivated By Pain or Pleasure?

Pleasure People

If you’re a pleasure person, you are influenced heavily by rewards and incentives; the bigger the reward, the more motivated you become. Pleasure people tend to be dreamers and visionaries because they seek to make the world in their image (that always feels good). Never dull and always seeking a good time, pleasure people share these characteristics.

  • Effort proportional to reward: You are best motivated by clear benefits and incentives. Your effort will drop dramatically if perceived benefits do not align with effort. Pleasure for you is the lifeblood of action; remove it and you will lose your motivation.
  • More self-centered: You tend to be more sensitive to your unique wants and desires because, as you put it – “I like what I like.” The good opinion of others has little effect on you, which at times makes you seem more self-centered.
  • Easily distracted: Pleasure people can become easily distracted by something that seems more pleasurable.
  • Live in the now: Defer gratification – why?
  • Get bored easily: You may get bored with things quickly, especially something that is repetitive and has little variance. So for you, jumping around may be the norm.
  • Addictive personality: You may find that the extreme opposite of boredom is addiction. Some things are just that good to you. This gives you passion and makes you a great advocate for the things you love. Entrepreneurs, leaders, and pioneering types share this quality with you.
  • No threats of pain please: You may not respond well to threat of loss. In fact, it may cause you to break down completely because you see it as a personal attack more than motivation.

Keys to motivating Pleasure People

    • Think benefits at all times: Motivate yourself and others by tying action to clear incentive. The more direct the better. For example:

“If I do this, then I will get this.” Or “what do you want, to do this?”

You bring benefits front and center with questions like these.

  • Make it about you: You’re self-centered, so play on it – make the action about you and your vision. Make your ego the center of it all. Your inner dialogue might be: “They couldn’t do this without me and besides, this is something I want…” I used this on a subcontractor that I knew to be self-centered. I said, “This project will not work without you. In fact, you are the best we have found, and if you get this done on our budget, you will have complete control over implementation.” He agreed immediately to our terms because we confirmed his greatness and gave him control (or did we?).
  • Constantly remind yourself about the benefit of action: To battle boredom, remind yourself constantly about the benefits involved in finishing your objective.
  • Find pleasure now: Sometimes reminding yourself that you will receive pleasure in the end is not enough to keep you motivated now. In cases like these you have to find pleasure in the process. This technique works well on my son, who is a pleasure freak. At times it is not enough to promise him a reward at the end. So I make it fun during the process to help him get through tasks he finds boring otherwise.
  • Touch pain quickly – then retreat to pleasure: I love this technique because it works well on pleasure people. You first hint at some pain via threat of loss, then immediately follow with pleasure points. It’s the rule of contrast at work here, which states that different things seem more different when placed close together in time and space. For example, if you go from the pool directly to the Jacuzzi, the water may seem unbearably hot in comparison to the cold pool water. One note of caution: only hint at pain and gloss over it quickly. If you emphasize pain too much, you may lose the pleasure person because they will see it as an attack, not motivation.

Putting it all together: pleasure person inner dialogue:

“If I don’t do this report, I will lose out on getting what I really want. And what I want is that big promotion next year. They know I deserve it because my ideas are the best. So I will stay late and get that report done. I’ll look good, make an impression, and win the top spot. And since no one is here, I’ll turn on some music and enjoy being in the office.”

We have:

  1. Quick hint at pain (not getting what you want)
  2. Clear benefit (big promotion)
  3. Play to ego (deserve it, the best, look good, make an impression)
  4. Remind yourself of the benefit (top spot)
  5. Pleasure now (music to enjoy while working)

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