Do Things Have To Get Bad For You Before They Get Good?

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“Are you one of these people? Do circumstances in life just go from bad to worse? There are some people who have to wait and let things get bad enough before they act. Is this you? They don’t move toward their goals. Instead they move away from discomfort. Things must get really bad before they get better. Many are like this.

This is known as the Pleasure/Pain Principle or The Carrot/Stick. Instead of moving toward the carrot, or the reward or pleasure they move away to avoid pain and punishment. When things are bad enough then they act. BUT not until they are BAD enough!

This is similar to the Last Straw Principle. They keep allowing pain and discomfort or bad events to pile up or circumstances and feelings to get so bad that they say, ‘Enough! That’s it! Never again!’ Finally, they act. You know the story. The camel’s owner kept piling straws on the camel’s back until it broke.

Many People Are Motivated By Pain And What They Don’t Want

In order for this person to be motivated it has to get really, really bad or bad enough. Some modern day guru’s have said, if this is you and you want to change, find a way to deliberately add on the pain until it gets so bad you do act in some way in your own best interests. I was never good at doing this deliberately.

If you are motivated by moving away from painful thoughts, events and circumstances this is how you are motivated. Until you learn to be motivated by focusing on what you do want and move toward it you will have to use what you have.

For example, some people decide they want to be rich and they move toward making money and having plenty. This is what they want and what they enjoy. They want to include money and having fine things in their life. They create positive circumstances to pursue.

Others don’t want to be poor. They hate being poor so they move away from poverty or lack.  They avoid it and want to exclude it as a possibility. They leave it behind.  If you are this latter person you may have experienced the struggle this type of motivation is.

You Need To Determine And Clarify What Your Do Want

You are driven by the need to not feel pain and to avoid what you don’t want. There is some benefit to this or in getting to the point of The Last Straw . Knowing what you do not want CAN help you clarify what you actually do want. If you spend time to decide precisely you can benefit immensely. Determine what you want!

Once you know exactly what you do not want then turn your attention to what you do want instead. Focus on what it is you want. Specify it. Make it real and desirable.  Turn your back on what you don’t want and put all of your attention and energy into creating and making what you want happen.

When you know what you want you are aiming at where you want to go. You have set your course and can move in A PURPOSEFUL direction. You can think intentional thoughts about it. You are able to close in on it step by step. The problem with the negative motivation is it is similar to running from a bear in an unknown woods.

You Must Focus On What You Do Want

While attempting to flee the bear you run anywhere you can. You attention is on not getting eaten. You run wherever you can. You may know you want safety but you don’t have time to plan. So you run to avoid the dire consequences. You don’t have a specific direction to go to. Any direction away from the bear is better.

It is important to realize that what you focus on you get. Call it  the Law Of Attraction or Karma, call it anything you like, the point is, whatever you put out you get more of it back. You plant one seed you get a lot more seeds back. Like attracts like. Birds of a feather flock together.

If you have to wait and wait until it gets bad enough for you to feel motivated to change you are focusing on what you don’t want. When you get enough of what you don’t want you then try to escape it. If this is you, the key to making it work is the moment you take action you must turn your attention to what you do want instead.

You Can Learn To Do Anything Persistence Is The Key

You have to shift your focus from what you do not want to what you do want. Keep you eyes and mind and thoughts on what you want. Then you are able to get what you focus on. What you think about you bring about. So you want to be thinking about what you DO want and not what you don’t want.

If while thinking about what you do you you notice yourself feeling less than glorious, not so good, or even bad then you have inadvertently slipped back into thinking about what you don’t want. The negative feelings are the signal to let you know you have gone off course. It is so wonderful we have feelings as an internal guidance system.

Feel good means you are focused on what you want. Feel bad means you are focused on what you don’t want. To have an enjoyable life you want more pleasure and far less pain. What you think about you bring about. So if you are thinking less than glorious thoughts you will be feeling less than glorious feelings. It is quite simple actually!

Both forms of motivation are possible. I find that it is more positive and powerful and feels better, once you know what you want,  to move toward what you want to have. I prefer to be drawn toward it magnetically than to be escaping from something I abhor. It is here, where what we focus on and how becomes meaningful.

Your Feelings Are A Great Guidance System

If you are focused mostly on what you don’t like and don’t want, if that is mostly what you see and experience then how do you get out of it. If all you notice is poverty and lack, if what you experience is not having what you want, you probably aren’t feeling very well or thinking very powerfully because you are focused on what sucks.

The good news is this: You learned to do that. Perhaps, at the time you didn’t realize you were learning it but that is what you did. It is a skill and it did serve a useful purpose at the time. AND we can learn to do many things. You made that a habit you can learn to make getting what you want easier and moving toward what you want a habit.

I have already told you how.  Countless times within all these blog pages. Go through it and read. The key is deliberately shifting you focus and keeping it there. It will be odd at first, a little uncomfortable or unfamiliar while you try a new thing but just as in learning any skill, stick with it, and you will master it. You will make it a new and useful beneficial habit. You can do this and when you do more good things are in store for you!” Rex Sikes

Savor the seconds, make marvelous the minutes, delight in the day!

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PSS  A great thing to do is read the posts daily and then go back and re-read from time to time. You will discover things you missed the first few readings. Try it, you will be surprised.

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*Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.

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