Tag Archives: Motivation

Pain and Pleasure

This post was first published on my Tumblr on Nov 3, 2012, and is now updated with my experiences since then.

Okay yes I know the title sounds weird but I swear this post has nothing to do with bondage. Although…

As an organizer of several activities for my friends, I’ve learnt a lot of things through successes and, more often, failures. Motivation is one of these things I’ve really learnt a lot about and I’ve come to the conclusion that pain is a much better motivator than pleasure.

Motivation is about moving away from pain, or moving towards pleasure.

When you have to do something to prevent losing something else, you work that much harder at it, than if that activity gave you a benefit.

I’m not saying it applies to everyone. Those who actually fully understand motivation are able to “re-wire” themselves to make pleasure just as effective, thus not needing a pain motivator. It’s just that the majority of people (by default) don’t understand it, which is where problems start to happen.

For example, if I organized an activity that needed money, I should collect the money of those interested parties first, to prevent them from backing out. I almost had a situation like that last year, when I organized a paintball event for my friends. I swore I’d never let that happen again.

I think the way to persuade someone to do something is to show them what they could lose, not what they could gain. Showing then what they can gain should be portrayed as a bonus.

Everyone has a price. If they don’t agree to your request, it means you’re not offering enough. If you offer the most you can and they still don’t agree, find their vice and squeeze it. Everyone has a price or a vice.

I really learnt this lesson the hard way. If I wanted to organize something, I’d better make sure everything went according to plan, have backup plans, and have backup plans for those backup plans.

I’ve had several occasions when my plans really did go wrong and the whole event had to be scrapped. I never want to experience that pain of embarrassment ever again, so this has motivated me enough to stop and think before I actually start to plan anything.

Pain > Pleasure