A powerful idea I got from my buddy Nietzsche; in order to grow, we need BOTH pain and pleasure!
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.
- If you want food to taste better, fast more and go hungry for longer periods of time.
- If you want sex to feel better, abstain for longer periods.
- If you want to have a stronger sexual drive, look at less porn.
- If you want more pleasure from your photos, shoot more difficult or challenging photos.
- 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.
- 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.
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- Try the Impossible
- Anti-Social Extrovert
- Never Blame Anybody But Yourself
- Human Flourishing
- Simpler, Not Better.
- How to be Free
- Embrace the Extremes
- Cultivate Your Own Culture
- Inner Power
- How to Live a Purposeful Life
- My Definition of Happiness
- Why Change is Good
- Why Work?
- How to Live the Happiest Possible Life
- The Two-Pronged Approach to Maximize Joy in Your Life
- You Always Have Another Option!
- Never Stop!
- What is Your Self-Directed Purpose in Life?
- Live Today Like it Were Your Last
- Do You Photograph to Live, or Live to Photograph?
- Live Life to the Fullest!
- In Praise of Selfishness
- Why You Must Be a YAY-SAYER to Succeed in Entrepreneurship and Life
- Why I Love Walking
- Live Life Like a Video Game!
- Simple Luxuries in Life
- Treat Your Life Like a Fun Experiment!
- Only Prove it to Yourself
- You Don’t Always Need to Feel Joyful to Live a Fulfilling and Meaningful Life
- Life is Too Short to Be Bored!
- Money Cannot Destroy Boredom
- How to Find Inspiration in Life
- Why You Must Ignore Haters to Succeed and Win in Life
- An Active Life is a Happy Life
- My Simple Joys in Life
- Never Stop Striving
- How to Motivate Yourself in Life
- How to Be Optimistic in Life
- How to Dictate Your Purpose in Life
- In Praise of a Dynamic Life
- How to Enjoy Life
- Photography Therapy
- How to Conquer Regret
- Take Your Play Very Seriously.
- How to Prosper
- Memento Vivere
- Destroy in Order to CREATE
- Trust Your Body More Than Your Mind
- Make Photos to Make Meaning in Your Life
- Seek Knowledge, Not Information
- The Purpose of Human Life
- How to Overcome Impedence
- Why I Love Death
- How to Be Centered in the Eternal Now
- How to Be Happy
- Why Do You Care What Others Think of You?
- Why I’m Happy
- Why I’m So Prolific
- How to Reduce LAG in Life
- How to Be a Stoic Street Photographer
- How to Use Photography as Self-Therapy
- How to Free Your Soul From Disturbance
- How to Be a Zen Street Photographer
- Zen in the Art of Street Photography
- How to Find Tranquility in Your Photography
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