Do Not Bite at the Bait of Pleasure

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.”

—Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Maria Cosway, October 1786)

Image of a brightly colored fish with an open mouth

Image from Unsplash by yu tang

Pleasure seeking and pain avoidance are two of the biggest drivers for most people.
Take a look for yourself at a typical day or maybe a full week to see just how true this may be for you.

Dig deep into your daily habits and rituals at home and work to explore your behaviors in the morning, mid-day, and into the evening. How do your habits and rituals differ heading into the weekend or even as you engage in the holidays and vacation time?

EXERCISE:

Generate a list of 5-10 behaviors or habits that have a considerable downside or hook beneath their initial pleasure. How would reducing or eliminating one or two make a meaningful difference in your life?

The first step towards getting somewhere

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

—J. Pierpont Morgan, 19th Century American Banker

Image of a hand with a large bandaid on the palm

Image from Unsplash by Brian Patrick Tagalog

Pain and pleasure are two of the greatest motivators to mobilize us all to take action. Whether it involves jerking our hand away from a hot stove or pursing our dreams, we get going pretty quickly.

For some reason, pain or negative life situations often win the battle over our desires, making less of an undesirable situation preferable to more of a good one.

Whatever your own experience may be on this issue, please look around at your personal and professional worlds to examine where staying where you are is completely unacceptable.

EXERCISE:

Decide today what first step you promise yourself to take to move away from the pain of being stuck where you are, to a better and perhaps more pleasurable future. Consider doing this exercise on a weekly basis and feel free to get back with me regarding your results.

our truest paths

“Our truest paths are carved out by the stuff that’s in our hearts.”

-Author Unknown

Image from www.breadandyoga.com

Image from www.breadandyoga.com

When was the last time you experienced pain? Many people experience frequent or ongoing pain. For the purpose of this post, I’d like you to examine the last time you experienced a headache, a stomachache, or given today’s quote, a heartache.

Fortunately for most, headaches and stomachaches are often temporary and subside in a reasonable time frame. Heartaches, on the other hand, are often more debilitating and endure far longer, due to the significance we attribute to the people and issues associated with them.

For myself and many others, these heartaches are an indication that we have been “all in” and fully invested in someone or something great or significant to us.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you express your truest path by living more consistently and fully with your heart and make any future heartaches well worth it?