Pain or Pleasure: What's your choice?
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you.”
~ Tony Robbins
Pain & Pleasure are two sovereign masters: we obey both, to varying degrees.
For example, while out making this image I was enduring the physical pain of frozen extremities - fingers and nose - in a near sub-zero temperatures. But, the physical pain took second-place to the emotional joy and warmth I felt of being totally immersed in my passion for photography and the deep sense of peace from being alone away from the strains and pressures of my everyday life.
Deciding which master (pain or pleasure) to obey is one of the life-changing choices mature human beings get to enjoy, but so few appreciate. The mature person remains conscious that all decisions have consequences and those decisions are made from one of two selfish objectives - either to avoid pain or gain pleasure.
However, to always seek to avoid pain or to always gravitate to pleasure is the sole intent of the immature which invariably results in irresponsibility and long-term pain. Sometimes (most times?) we need to consciously choose the responsible course of action and decide when to to avoid pain or to seek pleasure - it's a fine balance: because frequent decisions become habits and habits bind us in behavioural patterns that over the long-term will either support or detract from our sense of well-being.
As a guide, I often tell myself, "Short term pleasures lead to long term pain; Short term pain can lead to long-term pleasure."
The choice is ours! We always have the power to choose: rejoice in it!
(If you're interested in reading more on personal development I can strongly recommend these books by Tony Robbins: "Unlimited Power" & "Awaken the Giant Within".)