Pain sucks… but it’s useful.
Depite how shitty of a feeling it is, having a mature attitude towards pain is necessary for personal growth. Understanding our own pain we can find practical solutions to them. In turn, we can understand the pain points of our customers and better serve them.
First of all, it’s inherently a negative thing. I’m not a sadist. On a primordial level, pain=bad. source of pain=avoid. There’s no denying this.
Loneliness is painful. Hitting your head on the table after you bend over to pick something is pain. Pain is failing at a business after devoting the last 10 years to it. Pain is seeing your revenue drop after this quarter. Pain is the divorce. Pain is realizing the betrayal of someone you love.
Breaking it down conceptually, pain is the energy that surges through your body that pulls you, in varying degrees, away from the source of it. When you heed it’s call and escape from the source of it, through a found solution or just fucking running, a dopamergic connection is formed.
In fact, the relief of pain becomes a habit.
Naturally, this happens because the forces of nature, the Gods, or whatever, have done everything they can to ensure that you stop doing that thing that’s causing the apparent destruction of your being. As a result, you are punished for putting yourself through the ordeal, fault being your’s or not, and rewarded for escaping.
These safety-checks have eternally propelled biologcal beings on the right path through our many varied environments.
It can be the nagging pain of loneliness, like there’s constantly something just not right, or it can be the jolting pain of a muscle cramp in the middle of a night.
At those moments, long and lingering, or desperate and fleeting, we must find a way out. Pain gives us motivation. It gives us energy and it gives us power to find that way.
Through this realization, what if we learned how to be okay with the feeling? At least, in small doses – and self-administered – it can be something we use for our own gain.
No one wishes for more pain than is necessary, but what if it is indeed, at times, necessary?
Maybe there is more pain that is necessary than we want to admit to. Perhaps, an immature attitude derived from impulsivity and cowardness is the only reason we shirk this necessary pain.
Pain is running a steep 6 flight of stairs. Pain is the last rep of any worthwhile work-out. Fighting against the impulse of eating unhealthy foods hurts like hell.
It’s uncomfortably painful to stop watching stupid videos and go to bed so that we can have a high-quality day tomorrow. Pain is in the dread of going up and making a presentation in front of 500 strangers so that you get that promotion.
Faced with the painful struggles of these tasks, we can make the choice to do what is seemingly natural, and run away.
And most people do just that.
In fact, we have likely made a habit of doing such a thing when faced with the harrowing fate of pain.
Every time we wake up in the morning and skip a work-out, we are reinforcing that habit, making it exponentially more difficult to make the next work-out
These are the ruts that we can find ourselves in. Pain that we have avoided that will cause real pain later. Whether it’s dishes piling up, laundry left to be folded later, or unpaid bills collecting underneath our beds, it’s the result of, intentionally or unintentionally, reinforcing pain-avoidant behavior.
In this state, we are letting pain run our life, instead of using it as a tool.
Down the road, it’s more difficult, more dreadful, to do a seemingly mildly painful task. What one person has to battle with, conquer, and overcome, another can see it as just a minor nuance.
In fact, we all have these irrational pain points, formed by our accidental habits. Little things, like the level of encouragement you received as a child, or just a unfortunate trauma, can determine what you have engrained in yourself to avoid.
Pain being the mechanism that determines what these things are, it’s important to be aware of what causes it so that we can start turning towards it to our own benefit.
The alternative is to keep these things unconscious and be controlled.
Likely, what sucks for you is also what sucks for a lot people out there.
Horny? Well, sex sells. And it’s simply because of the fact that there are a million men out there, at this very moment, lonely as hell.
In whatever niche you find yourself in, there are these universal pain points suffered by all the consumers within it. One may see these tactics as gimmicky. Half naked girls walking around a boxing ring is so contrived and obvious, yet we can’t help but be affected.
Most people that buy new fancy cars will tell you all about it’s features and the deal they got, but they won’t tell you how it satiated their drive for status and distracted them from their impotence with women.
Pain-points can be basic drives like loneliness, hunger, and status or it can be very specific to the product like clunky software, lack of integrations, or inconvenient hours of operations.
The difficulty of being a marketer is discovering the pain-points that are suffered by the consumer before they are even conscious to the consumer himself.
We can get the consumer’s attention by advertising the solution to the most commonly held pain points, like sex, status, and health, but if we can find the more specific pain points, we can stand out from the competition.
The image of a beautiful woman, with her sultry smile, hinting of promiscuity, is a powerful force in helping men escape their inherent pain. In turn, they associate the product attached to such imagery as the escape of pain in itself. A few months later though, the effect fades, and a new symbol for this escape is required.
A new brand. A new toy. A new Gimmick.
The mind does not know the difference between a rational solution to it’s pain or just a quick impulsive hit of dopamine. It just wants reprieve and finding the shortest route to it.
For a brand that wants sustainability, it is far more effective to market solutions to very specific pain-points, created by elements within the niche like competition, pricing, and socioeconomics.
Therefore, the first-impression of your brand has to directly point to such a reprieve. Once attention is grabbed, the more niche specific pain-points can be triggered to create sustainability.
The influence of brands by triggering our pain points is undeniable. To the modern capitalistic person, it’s inevitable.
We are but puppets to our own nature and it takes immense will-power to grit your teeth against pain, and to stay away from phoney solutions to it. Most of the time we fail .
But it is only in this futile but useful practice of harnessing pain that we can even begin to fight back and take control of our lives.
We can stop irrational destructive behaviors by observing how it’s pain that drives us towards doing it, and then choosing to face it instead of escaping.
The consequence of not doing this is to be pushed around, pulled in unwise directions, by marketers and politicians, offering a reprieve for a pain that is not yet conscious to our own being.
Instead of handing over our self-control, letting those who know how to push our pain-avoidance buttons to do so, we can observe in yourself what the best course of action is and take that instead.