Goal Setting Versus Eliminating Pain
It’s funny. I used to have a lot of trouble writing out goals. It wasn’t that I was such a slacker that I didn’t want to accomplish anything, it’s just that I’ve always found myself easier to motivate by pain than by pleasure.
As you already know, people only have two motivations for doing anything: pleasure or pain. They either do it because of the pleasure they’ll receive or they do it to avoid pain. If you’ve done any copywriting, you know pain is usually the much stronger motivator of the two. If someone is in pain right now, they will do whatever it takes to get rid of that pain.
Prevention is a very tough sale, but people will beat a path to your door if you can cure them of pain.
I originally started my online business because the situation I was in was so painful. Having creditors calling you all the time is painful. Barely paying the rent on a $340 a month rental house with leaks in the ceiling is painful. Not being able to even take your wife out to eat is painful.
I hated where I was at and I was motivated to change my situation. This meant I was willing to do what it took to succeed online. I studied. I tested. I refused to quit no matter what, because the pain of where I was motivating me and pushing me forward.
It’s quite interesting when you look around sometimes and see just how many people who are successful in business were at the bottom of the barrel before. And you’ll find many achieved success to stick it in someone else’s face who doubted them (no that one does not apply to me).
It seems those who just want to earn a little extra money online or those that like the idea of running their own business don’t have nearly the success rate of those who have some pain motivating them to take massive action online.
Yet, once I was successful, I found it much harder to set goals. They simply didn’t motivate me, at least not as well as pain. You may have a similar experience. You find it easy to do whatever it takes to get out of pain, but taking action to achieve greater pleasure just isn’t all that easy to focus on.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but how many really follow through on them? They set goals, but they don’t reach them.
It’s likely they’re similar to me in that they’re motivated much stronger by pain than by pleasure.
Setting goals comes under the pleasure motivation. You’re looking to improve your life by the goals you reach…whether it’s to make more money, lose weight, or increase your time off. Those are all pleasure motivations.
So I went looking for way to turn the tables. One method you can use is to announce to others your goals. This is to set yourself up for pain if you don’t reach those goals. You’ll look stupid in front of everyone you told about your goals.
Another one is to turn it around and focus on removing the “tolerations” and “problems” in your life instead of just focusing on goals. Write down everything that’s causing you pain in your life. How can you eliminate it or change how it affects you? What actions will you take immediately to change each situation?
Below is a worksheet I’ve used with coaching clients in the past to help them identify areas they can work on.
You know how to tolerate a lot of problems in your life. You put up with and are dragged down by other people’s behaviors, situations, unmet needs, frustrations, and problems. You even put up with your own bad behavior at times! Take a few minutes to write down all the things you’re tolerating in your life.
Just becoming aware of these tolerations will allow you to begin handling and eliminating them. There is room to write down each item you’re tolerating and the action you can take to eliminate this toleration. On the second page are a few ideas you can look over to help you with your list.Related Entries:
- What Happens When Goal Setting Doesn’t Work?
- What Are you Tolerating in Your Life?
- 5 Coaching Questions That Will Change Your Life
- Regina Baker Asks How Do You Stay The Course
- How to Set Goals