How you can break through some short-term pain in order to gain long-term pleasure.


Anthony Robbins book “Awaken the Giant Within” has sold over a million copies and it has changed my life. It has made me a happier and healthier person. I learned how I think impacts my life in the greatest way and the worst way. I know exactly that if I would like to have a perfect life, the first thing I have to do is change my ideas and beliefs about myself. It is so true and I am guaranteed to get results as I have been following the many strategies in this book.

One strategies that I would like to introduce to you is “How you can break through some short-term pain in order to gain long-term pleasure”. Why do I think this topic is interesting? Because I am a person who had suffered and I was afraid to step into the same situation with fear that I would have that bad experience again. Anyway, after I decided to follow these strategies, I was grateful for the changes to my life. I truly understood the feeling of long term pleasure.

I believe it is not only me that tries to avoid pain. For most people, the fear of pain is much greater than the desire for gain pleasure.

Anthony said : so often I hear people talk about changes they want to make in their lives. But they can’t get themselves to follow through. They feel frustrated, overwhelmed, even angry with themselves because they know they need to take action, but they can’t get themselves to do it. There is one elementary reason: they keep trying to change their behavior, which is the effect, instead of dealing with the cause behind it.

Understanding and utilizing the forces of pain and pleasure will allow you once and for all to create the lasting changes and improvements you desire for yourself and those you care about. Failure to understand this force dooms you to a future of living in reaction, like an animal or a machine. Perhaps this sounds like a complete over simplification, but think about it. Why don’t you do some of things you know you should do? After all, what is procrastination? It’s when you know you should do something but you still don’t do it. Why not? The answer is simple: at some level you believe that taking action in this moment would be more painful than just putting it off. Yet, have you ever had the experience of putting something off for so long that suddenly you felt pressure to just do it, to get it done? What happened? You changed what you linked pain and pleasure to. Suddenly, not taking action became more painful than putting it off. This is a common occurrence that many Americans experience around April 14.

“A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary. - Seneca"



What keeps you from approaching that man or woman of your dreams? What keeps you from starting that new business you’ve been planning for years? Why do you keep putting off that diet? Why do you avoid completing your thesis? Why haven’t you taken control your financial investment portfolio? What prevent you from doing whatever it takes to make your life exactly as you’ve imagined it?

Even though you know that all these actions would benefit you-that they could definitely bring pleasure to your life- you fail to act simply because in that moment you associate more pain to doing what’s necessary than missing the opportunity. After all, what if you approach that person, and they rejected you? What if you tried to start that new business but failed and lost the security you have in your present job? What if you start a diet and went through the pain of starving yourself, only to gain the weight back eventually anyway?

What if you made an investment and lost your money? So why even try? For most people, the fear is much greater than the desire for gain. Which would drive more: keeping someone from stealing the $ 100,000 you’ve earned over the last five years, or the potential of earning $ 100,000 in the next five year? The fact is that most people would work much harder to hang on to what they have than they would to take the risks necessary to get what they really want from their lives.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Anthony Robbins."


Often an interesting question comes up in discussions about these twin powers that drive us: Why is it that people can experience pain yet fail to change? They haven’t experience pain yet; they haven’t hit what I call emotional threshold. If you’ve ever been in a destructive relationship and finally made the decision to use your personal power, take action weren’t willing settle for anymore. We’ve all experienced those time in our lives when we’ve said, “I’ve had it- never again- this must change now.” This is the magical moment when pain becomes our friend. It drives us to take new action and produce new results. We become even more powerfully compelled to act if, in that same moment, we begin to anticipate how changing will create a great deal of pleasure for our lives as well.

This process is certainly not limited to relationships. Maybe you’ve experienced threshold with your physical condition: you finally get fed up because you couldn’t squeeze into an airline seat, you couldn’t fit into your clothes, and walking up a set of stairs winded you. Finally you said, “I’ve had it!” and made a decision. What motivated that decision? It was the desire to remove pain from your life and establish pleasure once again: the pleasure of pride, the pleasure of comfort, the pleasure of self-esteem, the pleasure of living life the way you’ve designed it.

Of course, there are many levels of pain and pleasure. For example, feeling a sense of humiliation is a rather intense form of emotional pain. Feeling a sense of inconvenience is also pain. So is boredom. Obviously some of these have less intensity, but they still factor in the equation of decision-making. Likewise, pleasure weighs into this process. Much of our life comes from our anticipating that our actions will lead to a more compelling future, that day’s work will the rewards of pleasure are near. Yet there are many levels of pleasure as well. For example, the pleasure of ecstasy, while most would agree is intense, many sometimes be outweighed by the pleasure of comfort. It all depends on an individual’s perspective.

For example, let’s say you’re on your lunch break, and you’re walking past a park where a Beethoven symphony is playing. Will you stop and listen? It depends, first of all, on the meaning you associate to classical music. Some people would drop anything to be able to listen to the valiant strains of the Eroica Symphony; for them, Beethoven equals pure pleasure. For others, however, listening to any kind of classical music is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Enduring the music would equal a measure of pain, and so they hurry past the park and back to work outweighs the pleasure they would get from hearing the familiar melodies. Or maybe they have a belief that stopping and enjoying music in the middle of the afternoon is wasteful of precious time, and the pain of doing something frivolous and inappropriate is greater than the pleasure the music could bring. Each day our lives are filled with these kinds of psychic negotiations. We are constantly weighing our won proposed actions and the impact they will have upon us.

“I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pains be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures.” – Michel De Montaigne"


The problem is that most of us base our decisions about what to do on what going to create pain or pleasure in the short team instead of the long team yet, in order to succeed, most of the thing that we value require us to be able to break through the wall of short-term pain in order to have long team pleasure. You must put aside the passing moments of terror and temptation, and focus on what’s most important in the long term: your values and personal standards. Remember, too, that it’s not actual pain that drives us, but our fear that something will lead to pain. And it’s not actual pleasure that drives us, but our belief- our sense of certainty- that somehow taking a certain action will lead to pleasure. We’re not driven by the reality, but by our perception of reality.

Why do people persist in an unsatisfying relationship, unwilling either to work toward solutions or end it and move on? It is because they know changing will lead to the unknown, and most people believe that the unknown will be much more painful than what they’re already experience encing. It’s like the old proverbs say: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know,” “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” These core beliefs keep us from taking the actions that could change our lives.

If we want to have an intimate relationship, then we have to overcome our fears of rejection and vulnerability. If we’re planning to go into business, we must be willing to overcome our fear of losing security to make that happen. In fact, most of the things that are valuable in our lives require us to go against the basic conditioning of our nervous systems. We must manage our fears by overriding this preconditioned set of responses and, in many cases, we must transform that fear into power. Many times, the fear that we are allowing to control us never becomes reality anyway. It’s possible for people to link pain, for example, to flying in an airplane, while there’s no logical reason for the phobia. They’re responding to a painful experience in their past or even an imagined future. They may have read in the papers about airplane accidents, and how they avoid getting on planes: they’re allowing that fear to control them. We must make sure that we live our lives in the present and respond to things that are real, not to our fears of what once was or what might someday be. The key thing to remember is that we don’t move away from real pain; we move away from what we believe will lead to pain.


Let make some changes right now

First, write down four actions that you need to take that you’ve been putting off. Maybe you need to lose some weight. Maybe you need to stop smoking. Maybe you need to communicate with someone you’ve had falling out with, or reconnect with someone who’s important to you.

Second, under each of these actions, write down the answer to the following question: Why haven’t I taken action? In the past, what pain have I linked to taking this action? Answering these questions will help you understand that what has held you back is that you’ve associated greater pain to taking the action then to not taking it. Be honest with yourself. If you’re thinking, “I have no pain associated to it,” think a little harder. Maybe the pain is simple: maybe it’s the pain of taking time out of your busy schedule.

Third, write down all the pleasure you’ve had in the past by indulging in this negative pattern. For example, if you think you should lose some weight, why have you continued to eat whole pans of brownies and bulk-size bags of chips, and to guzzle twelve- packs of soda pop? You’re avoiding the pain of depriving yourself, yes, and at the same time you’re really doing this because it makes you feel good right now. It gives you pleasure! Instant pleasure! No one wants to give up these feelings! In order to create a change that will last, we need to find a new way to get the same pleasure without any negative consequences. Identifying the pleasure you’ve been getting will help you know what your target is.

Fourth, write down what it will cost you if you don’t change now. What will happen if you don’t stop eating so much sugar and fat?

If you don’t stop smoking? If you don’t make that phone call that you know need to make? If you don’t start consistently working out each day? Be honest with yourself. What’s it going to cost you over the next two, three, four, five years? What’s going to cost you emotionally? What’s going to cost you in terms of your self-image? What will it cost you in your physical energy level? What will it cost you in your feelings of self-esteem? What will it cost you financially? What will it cost you in your relationships with the people you care about most? How does that make you feel? Don’t just say, “It will cost me money” or “I will be fat.” That’s not enough. You’ve got to remember that what drives us is our emotions. So get associated and use pain as your friend, one that can drive you to a new level of success.

The final step is to write down all the pleasure you’ll receive by taking each of these actions right now. Make a huge list that will drive you emotionally, that will really get you excited: “I’ll gain the feeling of really being on control of my life, of knowing that I’m in charge. I’ll gain a new level of self-confidence. I’ll gain physical vitality and health. I’ll be able to strengthen all my relationships. I’ll develop more will power which I could use in every other area of my life. My life will be better in all these ways, now. Over the next two, three, four, five years. By taking this action, I will live my dream.” Envision all the positive impacts both in the present and in the long term.

**Remember, if you want to achieve something that is valuable to your life it requires that you overcome some short-team pain in order to gain long-term pleasure**

I would like to share these stories as it is link to this strategies. I hope they can encorage you to do something for your life.

Atikom Laksanapanai


Atikom Laksanapanai (Nickname: Nai) is a Thai person who get into "Bigger Loser" contest. He is living in Bangkok, Thailand, glib, confident Nai is not your average overweight Contestant. He is not self conscious about his size and finds that personally, his daily struggles with weight are to do with not finding clothes that fit him and not being able to travel on public transport, rather than shyness or insecurity.

This is in part due to the way Nai was raised, as well as perhaps the society that raised him, as according to Nai, ‘Thai society seem to accept big people,’ . Nai comes from a part Chinese part Thai family where food has always been a big part of all family gatherings. In fact as Nai comments, ‘Most Chinese I assume that they love fat people, they think that it's good, that it's a sign of richness or it's a sign of wealth’, and his Chinese grandmother has encouraged him to fatten up since was a child. He is also an avid online gamer and blames his sedentary lifestyle for putting on weight.

Nai finds food comforting, and is very honest about how grumpy he tends to get when anything interferes with his meals! However after his father’s death due to obesity, Nai had a wake up call that forced him to take action. This family tragedy has inspired him to face his bad lifestyle and eating habits, and turn to the Biggest Loser for help. Determined, confident and strong, Nai believes he will work hard enough to stay in the game for the long run, change his life around and become Asia’s next Biggest Loser.

Viveganandam Deveraj


His name is Viveganandam Deveraj (Nickname: Raj). He is Sigaporien who got into "Bingger Loser" contest as well. Having graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a degree in business marketing, Raj has been working as a 3D Modeler in Singapore. He is very tech savvy and loves computer games. He blames his addiction and many hours spent playing online games like World of Warcraft in part for his weight gain and bad eating habits. He has now decided to change his life to be healthy and active, and he is instead going to apply his tactical gaming skills in his quest to win BLA 2.

He doesn’t like to be idle so he keeps on munching to keep himself occupied. He snacks a lot and his favorite food is Doritos, which he eats at least once a week. Raj recently found love through a dating website, and he wants to lose weight for his girlfriend and himself.

Raj is extremely dedicated and determined in his journey to a healthier life, and had already made a start before joining TBLA. He has going to the gym 3 times a week and he also joined the ‘Lose Big’ program with Fitness First. This is his second time auditioning for TBLA, and after season 1 auditions, he realized how much he wanted to change his life. He is determined to make it all the way and be Asia’s next Biggest Loser

The last person is my dad. He had smoked for over 35 years. As his children,we tried to encourage him to quit, but without success. He had pulmonary disease when he was 60 but he still would not stop smoking. I wanted him to stay with me longer. I told him that I would buy some medicine to help him to quit smoking easily. He asked me " How much is that?" I told him " 3,000 Baht". He was silent..... (For us, 3,000 Baht is a lot because I earned only 15,000 Baht each month at that time and I had to take care of my parents,my sisters, niece and nephew). He said "well, you do not have to buy it. I will quit." Then I was silent. I knew it was not easy for him to stop smoking. So I bought him a book that he wanted to read for a while. I wrote in that book

" Dear Dad, I love you so much and I know to try and stop smoking is not easy for you, but I would like you know that I will be so proud of you if you can do it. Your health is going to be better and it will be the best gift for me. Love you always"

My nephew told me that my dad asked him to throw away his all smoking paraphernalia after I left home. He had been trying hard. He could not sleep and could not eat well. He had to be patient for almost 3 weeks to get through that terrible time. He never ever wanted to go back to smoking again. My father did not follow this strategies but he knew in his heart how it would be wonderful for him and for his children if he could change this behavior. But I knew that he had a very strong desire to stop smoking because he loved me and he knows how much I loved him.

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Comments 4 comments

your cybersister profile image

your cybersister 5 years ago from Just relocated from Florida to the mountains of North Carolina

Quite a hub! My husband has read some of Tony Robbins' material and found it helpful and encouraging as you did. He had shared with me the philosophy that people are basically motivated by pain or pleasure. At first I disagreed, but the more I thought about and analyzed some of the things in my own life, the more I realized this was probably the case. I don't do things that I should sometimes due to fear, but going one step further, it is the fear of pain. It's wonderful that "Awaken the Giant Within" was of so much help and inspiration to you. Thank you for sharing.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

Great hub. Pleasure and pain are the truth of life. We need to face and overcome our pain in order to find pleasure. It's as simple as that, and many of us are required to do this almost everyday without realizing it. Rated up and awesome. :)

Ladda Boonmee profile image

Ladda Boonmee 5 years ago from Thailand Author

Hi your cybersister,

Thank you for stopping by. I know it is not easy to get over your fear as I used to be like that. Thank you for sharing your story as well. Nice to meet you:)

Ladda Boonmee profile image

Ladda Boonmee 5 years ago from Thailand Author

Hi Om,

I'm glad to see your comment. Thank you for spending time with my hub. I just wish this hub can help other :)

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