The sovereign masters that determine what people will do are not pleasure and pain, but fallible memories of pleasure and pain.

Real pleasure is derived from experiences over physical goods, pastimes over knick-knacks, and doing over having.


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Anthony Robbins describes the principle in 'Awaken the Giant Within':

What is this force that is controlling you even now and will continue to do so for the rest of your life? PAIN and PLEASURE! Everything you and I do, we do either out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure.

'If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.' - Marcus Aurelius

The truth is that we can learn to condition our minds, bodies, and emotions to link pain or pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we will instantly change our behaviors.

'I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pains be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures.' - Michel De Montaigne