...to the point where it is unbearable...
Towards the end of my first session with Edson, he taught me a principle called the Pain vs Pleasure Mechanism. He told me to imagine myself in 20 years’ time while carrying on the same habits I had. Imagine that I was still overweight, still unemployed, still living with my parents, without a girlfriend and not doing anything. Instantly I didn’t want to think about that image anymore, it was the opposite of what I want in life. Instead of trying to forget about that image, Edson told me to keep thinking about that image till I got angry.
Initially I was confused, I was wondering why he wanted to make me angry by making me relay the image in my head repeatedly. But then he explained to me the principle behind the image; Use the anger I feel from the image to motivate myself on making the right decision to commit to changing. Magnifying the pain to the point where its unbearable for me, provided enough motivation to make the right decisions, to change.
Before meeting Edson, I would always think of the short-term rather than the long-term. So, for me to come up with that image which could have been my future would probably never have happened, and for me to commit to changing would not have happened either.
I realised the importance of working for the long-term rather than only thinking about the short-term. Nothing would happen overnight but in the back of my mind I was kind of hoping it would. The mindset I had, was very impatient and if I didn’t see results, I could easily revert back to my old habits.
Now, what did I learn from this?
The pain vs pleasure mechanism was definitely a big principle for me to learn. It works for me, the image of myself in 20 years if I carried on became unbearable. I would feel such disgust and anger towards it that I would do anything to avoid that outcome. The pain would come first then the pleasure.
Finally, I realised the importance of long-term goals rather than short-term. I never understood why I would always think things would happen instantly and be surprised if they didn’t. With a clearer idea of what it means to grind for the long-term made it somewhat easier for me to make the right choices along with the pain vs pleasure principle.