Pleasure Pain Paradox


Explained: Humans have a propensity to favour activities that offer upfront pleasure but long term pain, despite the greatest gains predominantly coming from activities involving delayed gratification or upfront investment.

Negative Examples: 

  1. Drinking is (pleasurable) Hangovers (painful)
  2. Avoiding tough conversation (pain avoidance) Breakups and fallouts (painful)
  3. Spending frivolously in our youth (Pleasurable) Having no pension (painful) 

Positive Examples

  1. Writing a page a day (painful) - Publishing a book (pleasurable)
  2. Working out at the gym (painful) - Being in great shape (pleasurable)
  3. Investing a % of salary each month (painful) - Reaping compound interest (pleasurable) 

Key Takaway: If you wish to focus on activities that push you forward in life. Look for things where the pain is upfront, the more painful an activity in the short term, the fewer people you will likely compete with.

ORIGIN: Unknown

Ricky Richards