Desire Both Pleasure and Pain in Life

A powerful idea I got from my buddy Nietzsche; in order to grow, we need BOTH pain and pleasure!


PDF: Desire both pleasure and pain in life

Pain as growth

For example, when I want to get stronger muscles, I NEED pain in my muscles to grow! Of course I don’t want to injure myself, but I need to positively stress my muscles in order to become stronger.

For example, when I’m doing chin-ups, there’s a point where my biceps are on fire — the feeling of lactic acid building up in my muscles and sinews. When I don’t think I can do any more repetitions, I grit my teeth, huff and puff a few times, and grind out 2-3 more repetitions. According to Arnold, it’s the last few repetitions which trains your muscles to grow.

And this is the interesting thing — the pain in the gym becomes pleasure. For anyone addicted to the gym or lifting weights, pain is good. The more pain and soreness you feel in your muscles, the better.

Comfort is the road to waste

Now this is the irony — in modern life, we want to minimize pain as much as possible, yet we want to maximize pleasure as much as possible. But this is physiological nonsense — to maximize your pleasure, you would actually need to maximize your pain.

For example, food only tastes good when you’re hungry. If you want food to taste really really good, you need to go really really hungry. For example when I fast, and I get insanely hungry, and when I break my fast and eat dinner— my food tastes 100x better. When I eat a boring 3 square meals a day, and don’t feel real hunger pangs, food doesn’t taste that good.

I feel this can also be applied in life — you could never feel a sense of accomplishment without difficulty, challenge, or overcoming. When things are too easy for us, they are boring!

Take for video games; challenging video games which are very hard are more fun, especially when you beat the final boss. When video games are too easy, they’re no fun.


Simple ideas:

  1. If you want food to taste better, fast more and go hungry for longer periods of time.
  2. If you want sex to feel better, abstain for longer periods.
  3. If you want to have a stronger sexual drive, look at less porn.
  4. If you want more pleasure from your photos, shoot more difficult or challenging photos.
  5. If you want your muscles to grow stronger and bigger, strain your muscles more at the gym by lifting heavier stuff, or churning out more repetitions.
  6. Don’t see the purpose of life as the maximization of pleasure and the minimization or pain; consider BOTH pleasure and pain as necessary ingredients for you to become the most powerful you possible.



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