Your two core drivers (i.e. why you do anything)

Time to Read – 30 seconds

Are pain and pleasure

Moving away from pain, or moving towards pleasure…

Or moving away from what you don’t want, or moving towards what you do

Everything that everyone chooses to do can be taken back to one of those two drivers

Action – When you do something today do a mental check to determine if you are moving away from pain or towards pleasure.

You will probably find you are more inclined one way or the other – so once you have this information you can use it as leverage in driving yourself nearer to your goals.

With my love and best wishes


  • valerie evans

    This is like saying is your cup half FULL or half EMPTY – or do you have a pessimistic or an optimistic outlook on life. I think it would benefit us all to try to see things from a “rosier” perspective as I believe this gives us more energy.

  • And it makes the day so much easier!

  • paul charlton

    I like to think I'm moving myself nearer to pleasure. What's the point of life if all you are going to do is seek pain. Pain can be thrust upon you of course and pleasure is just there for the taking at times.

  • clive barrett

    Some people naturally go towards pain as they think there's nothing better for them and they see pleasure as beyond their capabilities. they should think more positively perhaps and see that pleasure is in reach of all of us should we make the right choices.

  • paul charlton

    I get pleasure out of getting to many areas of my life. There are exceptions to this rule though. I have a friend who ran the marathon on Sunday. She went from pleasure, at entering, to pain, then extreme pain, to get where she wanted to be, the finish line. She derived pleasure a couple of days after but had to go towards pain first, and stay there, before finally reaping some rewards for her efforts. I guess if you are a glass half full person you will be attracted to pleasure as you will see things wholly differently to anyone else.

  • Mark Ryland

    David,Although I get your column and find it interesting & positive, I am motivated to respond on your pleasure/pain drivers note of 26/4.Your assertion seems depressing and below the level of you usually highly positive/expansive comments!While it is undoubtedly true that for the most of the time human beings responses are driven by pleasure and pain, that means all of these actions are related to personal ego & therefore limited. Such action excludes the possbility of selfless action for the greater good; whether that be for the greater good of the family, company, community etc (or even the individual themselves for that matter).Surely we are all greater when we act for the greater good – that is to be encouraged and therefore not 'everything that one chooses to do' is motivated by pleasure/painThank youMark Ryland

  • Thank you for all of your comments – as human beings, in all areas of our lives, we will only ever do anything because of one of two drivers. A desire to move towards pleasure (achieving a dream, helping others to improve their lives – gives us pleasure as Bill Gates often says, or simply enjoying the moment). When we move towards pleasure we tend to do things to the very best of our abilities. Or, a need to move away from pain (overcoming a challenge, removing a fear or phobia or getting out of a crisis situation). When we need or choose to move away from pain, we tend to do it fast. Re Mark's comments, this is not an “ego” thing, it is the way we are, and the illustration of the “greater good” is a perfect example. Individually, for those whose lives we touch and for each other in the world, we get pleasure in helping others, and our collective action on things like climate change are a collective urge to move away from pain. Thank you for all the comments and thoughts on this, ultimately it all comes down to what we do and why we do it, which I know everyone on here finds fascinating. David

  • chris

    I got a great deal of pleasure watching Fulham in Europe last night. They drove me towards pain in the first half and once they had scored the pleasure began to return and I felt much better. Of course I chose to support English football and would have felt better just watching it from a neutral's point of view. It's great to be involved though.

  • paul charlton

    The pain of defeat is something that fans have to accept and that's what happens in sporting terms at this time of the year. I'm wondering too how Gordon Brown will front up to what is bound to be defeat in the GE. This Thursday we will find out exactly what is happening although I suspect the Tories will edge the Libs and there will be a hung parliament. Brown, from what I've read, was not on best form on Thursday and may believe his time has come. He brought about this country's economy over a long period and it is about time he let it go and gave somebody else a chance.

  • […] Pain and Pleasure nl week provoked some discussion and comment as to how true it […]

  • Mary

    I'm a pleasure girl rather than pain. I like to go nearer to what gives me pleasure than not. I'm a happy person because of it.

  • […] PLEASURE and pain. We’ve all experienced both. Sometimes you have to go through one to fully understand the other. Passing a driving test after failing the first. Getting a job having been turned down for others. Making it around the London Marathon course having been forced to give up through exhaustion the year before. […]

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