Pain and Pleasure : The Ultimate Driving Forces


The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure to use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. ~ Tony Robbins

I love the above quote from Tony Robbins. All of us take action – either to seek pleasure or to avoid pain! Sometimes avoiding the pain will drive us more than seeking pleasure!

My friend Arun (certainly not the original name, the focus is on lesson not the person) attended my workshop ‘Present to Impact’ in 2009 to improve his public speaking skills. During the program it was evident that he needed to focus on polishing his grammar and articulation skills. He learnt many other techniques to deliver an impactful talk, however his language needed a makeover to make his talk sound professional.

I recommended him to read books listen to audio books and attend weekend classes to enhance English language. You guessed it right; he did nothing to improve his known area of weakness. I was nonchalant, as I knew he didn’t have enough pain or pleasure to take action back then.

After 5 years, one day he called me on a Sunday evening to talk about his latest focus area of improvement. He has joined a professional English speaking course and attending weekend classes for the next 4 months to add professional touch to his presentation. Arun is investing 10 hours each weekend towards this course.

What changed???? What was the catalyst that inspired (or forced) him to take action? … Well, the pain of not changing was so high… he had to budge!


Arun works as a Project Consultant in a multi-national IT company and he is now leading a team of consultants. He is currently working with US clients and few of them have given him candid feedback on his language skills in the recent 360-degree review. Needless to say his manager added this to his goal for 2014-15 appraisals! In addition to this, he now leads a team, wants to gain their respect and lead by example. I am glad he is working on it now. I admire his courage to go back to weekend classes (he is 45 now) at this age where most of his classmates are half his age.

We all can learn a great lesson from this episode. Let’s use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure to use us. That’s the secret of success, fulfillment and a purposeful life!


PS : I acknowledge the pictures from the internet.

3 thoughts on “Pain and Pleasure : The Ultimate Driving Forces

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