What Makes You Feel Good?

Pleasure and pain are two opposite forces, which each send different signals to the brain. The pleasure signal gives the message: you should be getting more of this. The pain signal gives the equally, if not more, important message: you probably shouldn’t be doing this.

When you are at work, you deal every day with these competing signals. There are some chores or tasks that bring pleasure, some that bring pain, and some that are most likely neutral.

Is there a way to minimize or control those painful tasks or interactions? It would be worthwhile to try to do so if possible. Is there a way to do more of what gives you pleasure? Definitely find a way to do more of that!

It is often not possible to completely eliminate the painful or negative factors at work, but can you try to reduce them?

My daughters are college age and will eventually (fingers double and triple crossed) enter the workforce. I try to counsel them to make sure they try to find a career doing something they find enjoyable, pleasurable, or meaningful, while still being self-supporting and financially responsible.

Life is a series of trade-offs, and the best options are those in which we minimize (not eliminate completely) the pain and maximize the utility, given all of the various restrictions and variables in our lives.

Sometimes, we are simply filled with joy, and can express ourselves like James Brown did on the Ed Sullivan show back in 1966. I challenge you to feel any pain after watching this!

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