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Why We Do What We Do!
It’s Always About The Payoff!
We have a fun show. It’s a subject that really gets me cooking. We’re going to talk about why we do what we do. It’s always about the payoff. For me, figuring out the payoff and seeing what’s underneath the covers so to speak, always makes it so interesting.
This subject is something that I like because it demands self-awareness. It demands that we start to look at the way we do life, the way we do everything it is that we do. Some people might hear this statement of what it is that we’re talking about. When I hear the word payoff, I feel like it’s something wrong, like I’m looking for some kind of payoff. The reality is that on a deeper level, we are doing everything that we do for a payoff. I want to start off with having you recognize some of the basics of humanity, of who we are and what it is that we do and then I’m going to give you a little example. First, I want to start with this statement that is called the Pain-Pleasure Principle. We live our lives through the Pain-Pleasure Principle. It means that we’re doing everything that we can to move towards pleasure and anything that we have pain is going to happen inside of our lives is going to push us towards pleasure.
The payoff is always looking for pleasure except for those that get pleasure out of pain. Stay with me because I know that your mind may be saying, “Who would ever want to do something because they’re getting pain as their pleasure?” I don’t know if any of you have ever had this experience, but there have been times when my gums might hurt, especially when I was younger. What I would do is I would press on my gums hard and it would hurt so bad. It would hurt in a way that made it feel good. When I lived in Ohio when I was growing up, I would get mosquito bites occasionally and it would itch so bad I couldn’t stand it. I would take my fingernail, and I would smash into the top of the mosquito bite until it made a big dent and it hurt a lot. I would turn it the other way and I would push it again, so the top of the mosquito bite looks like a top of a screw. The bottom line is that pain was pleasurable. These are little minute things, but it is interesting when you’re honest that there are some things that hurt but simultaneously they feel good. Let’s take a football player for example who goes out on the field, gets smacked around, gets pushed down and gets hit hard. That hurts but there’s so much pleasure in that pain.
What I was going to say about this whole payoff thing is that when you’re pressing on your gums as you were saying, it hurts, like when you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist, it hurts and annoying but it feels so good when it stops. To me, this whole thing about payoff is that we do things because we want to ultimately feel good and we always have an ulterior motive.
When we talk about pain-pleasure, it’s very important to understand that one of the core universal principles of life is the Pain-Pleasure Principle. We pretty much are doing everything to seek pleasure. Regardless of what it is that’s happening in your life, you are seeking pleasure. If we take this a notch deeper, we start to see that there are even deeper reasons that we do things that we don’t think about on a conscious level as being pleasurable. You have probably read other podcasts and if you haven’t, I encourage you to do so because in other podcasts, I speak about what it is that is happening is coming from a deep core issue like, “I’m not loved and lovable, I’m not enough,” the lack principle which goes to, “There’s never enough of anything.” These are very deep subconscious things until they become more conscious. They are basically our core beliefs. When I’m speaking about we do everything for a payoff, what I’m speaking to is getting underneath the covers so to speak and finding out what the core belief is because it’s that core belief that we are trying to make into something pleasurable.
Let’s take this into the day-to-day world. What I found in speaking to some of the people, it was about everyday strategies for happiness. There was someone in the group that was speaking about how they were living with a roommate that they didn’t want to live with. I said, “Why are you still living with a roommate?” What they said was, “It’s going to cost a lot of money to have to start over again. I don’t know where I would move. This person won’t have anywhere to go.” They have all of these reasons. I said, “You’re staying with the status quo. What’s your payoff?” One said, “I’m not happy. I feel victimized. I feel out of control. I don’t feel like I can have what it is that I want.” Those were some of the things that were brought up. I said, “The reasons that you have this happening is because you mentioned money, it’s going to cost too much to move somewhere else. What’s the payoff for that?” It’s going to bring up fear. The payoff is that we are trying to avoid the fear or the possibility that we will have monetary issues if we do this. Another fear would be that this person’s not going to like me, which hits the core principle of I’m not loved and lovable or people don’t like me. Am I making myself clear with what it is that we’re doing these things for that there’s a payoff for everything that we do?
Yes, you are. The piece that I wanted to just take it even one step further is that we are looking for the course of least resistance where we will have the least pain because we don’t want to subject ourselves to pain. In this case, “I’m willing to put up with a roommate I don’t like because I’m afraid of the money or I don’t have the money.” What I’ll call insidious is that we’re not even aware of why we’re doing it. We’ll latch onto in this example, “The money’s the reason I stay,” but why are you subjecting yourself to being unhappy? That goes to the deeper principle in this example that Esateys was speaking about. The important piece here in my view is getting to know what’s under the covers because deep down there’s always a deeper payoff.
We like to go deeper to get to the core issue that’s going on because it’s from that place that real change occurs. When you know yourself better than you ever have before and you can see the way you are living your life, then you are able to make change much more profoundly than ever before. I’d like you to stop what you’re doing and close your eyes and think for a moment about something that you have done or sometime in the past that you didn’t want to do. Take a moment and think about that. Whatever it is that you may have thought of and you didn’t want to do it, what was the payoff? Look underneath that of what it was that was happening. I’ll give you an example. There have been many times in the past, I used to not like to go to social events that I felt like I was obligated to go to in certain circumstances. I would go and my payoff was that my partner at the time, it would make them happy. It would be something that they would not have been so pleased with if I didn’t go.There are some things that hurt, but simultaneously feel good. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, when I went there, it turned out pretty okay but I’m not big on small talk so it was boring for me most of the time. What would happen is I get into deep conversations with people, which then made the evening fun for me. My payoff was double. It was first of all that I was going because I wanted my partner to be happy. The other thing that I did was I got the payoff of pleasure by going deep with people not necessarily on purpose, but that’s what I do because it’s the way I think. Some people were probably blown away and had whatever response they had. That was okay with me because I was having fun doing what it is that I do, which is talking about things besides the weather. There was a payoff on both levels that I could look at and see what was happening. I want to interject something that’s critical. There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s no good and there’s no bad about what it is that you observe about yourself. This is about awareness. Be aware without judgment and notice the innocence of a child, how we are running our lives to recycled ignorance or through programs, beliefs or ways that we have been trained to be in our day-to-day world.
When you went to that event because your payoff was you are going to make your spouse happy. You were going to keep everything smooth and you’re keeping peace in the family. You weren’t thinking about whether you’re going to meet someone deep or not, so your payoff was that. The problem with the payoff or not being aware of the payoff is that we become inauthentic. You went there thinking, “I’m going to just do it,” but you were being inauthentic to yourself, which was totally contrary to your payoff, so you had a push-pull. One way you wanted to please and the other side, you hate it because you are not being who you wanted to be and doing what you wanted to do.
That’s very powerful and it’s absolutely accurate. Whenever you are doing something that is out of sync with who you are or what you truly want, you are in internal conflict. You are out of authenticity. You’re out of not only authentic but you’re out of impeccability with what it is that’s true inside your heart. Believe me, I do understand it. That is scary. I felt that it was a whole lot easier for me to deal with myself than it was to deal with the repercussions that I would have gotten by saying, “I’m not going.” I will add that in the relationship, I did start telling the truth and I stopped going. That was perfect and that was something that I did, but also being totally transparent. This was back in the ‘70s. I also then had another fear that this person who was flirtatious by nature was going to go do all kinds of other things at that party or that social event that might not have happened had I been there. That would not have probably made me happy. I set myself up to feel badly about no matter what I did. If I didn’t go, I was being more authentic but then I had fears come up. If I went, I wasn’t being authentic. I made the “best out of it,” but I still wasn’t happy. It’s an important thing to get all those little pieces of yourself. At the time, I didn’t know all of that.
The piece there is that because you were uncomfortable with his flirtation and all of those things, your payoff for going was to make sure that you were safe that he wasn’t doing whatever you thought he was going to do. It’s so many factors get smushed up in one place and we don’t know how to deal with it. Everybody wants to be in pleasure. Everybody wants what’s best for themselves. If we’re honest, those two are true statements. Why do we need to look for this payoff? You said it’s important to be aware of it. I agree. How do you deal with the pull of going self, not self? “I want to take care of myself. I want someone else to be taken care of.” That’s the inauthenticity, but the fact is there’s always a payoff that’s under the covers.
I’m going to go back to the statement that I said that it’s not good, bad, right or wrong. When we make a choice, we’ve all heard that statement, “For every action, there’s an equal or greater reaction.” Whenever we do something, something else is going to happen in return. Many times, people will go through their life doing things and wondering why, “This came back and hit me in the face and I didn’t like it.” One of the ways that you can utilize this as a very productive and a powerful self-development exercise is to look at when you’re making a decision to do something is to ask yourself, “What’s my payoff for this?” Here’s a very powerful example. Let’s say that you see somebody doing something that you don’t approve of if you will, you judge it. You want to, and many times you will say something about it. What if you stopped before you said that and you said to yourself, “What’s my payoff for saying what I’m about to say?” Is it to be one up on that person to show them that you are clearer and then they can feel less than? Is it because you want to ensconce them in guilt? Is it because let’s say that you’re holding a secret because you saw them do something they “shouldn’t do” or was judged as not okay? That means they’re obligated to you because you’re “keeping a secret.”
What is your payoff for what it is that you’re doing? Is it about control? Is it about self-flagellation so to speak or self-righteousness? All of these things are things that when we look at that, then we can make decisions in that very moment as to whether we are increasing our good humor, a better altitude of our attitude, frequency or are we bringing it down? Whenever we feel like we “won” and we are controlling someone else, whenever we say something that’s done a grading or unkind to someone else, whether we know it or not, we may feel self-righteous for a moment but underneath that, you will not feel good when somebody else feels badly because of something that you presented to them. That is a self-judgment upon yourself. That’s a way to make yourself feel less than.
This happens without you even knowing it happens until you become aware of yourself and what it is that’s happening. One of the most practical things about this entire subject is to ask yourself before you go into the workshop. We were talking a lot about food, weight, and happiness and how it related to that. One of the things that one woman was saying was something about whatever it was that she was eating. My suggestion to her was to ask herself, “What’s your payoff for doing this? What’s your payoff for taking your hand and eating, touching that food and putting it to your mouth?” You may get a superficial high and secondly, you get to feel guilty. You get to feel not enough. You get to feel impotence. You get to feel victimized because you can’t control yourself. It’s a big long list that we can come up with.
When you realize that, then you have the freedom to choose differently if you would like to. Do you want to feel empowered by saying, “I know what will happen to me if I turn around and walk out or I know that I’m going to feel bad if I keep on walking in?” Which payoff do you want? That’s your choice. That’s where you empower yourself. You want to feel empowered and connected to your own state of decision making or do you want to feel you can’t handle it and you’re just going to go downhill fast? Self-discipline takes a lot and yet there is no better way to empower yourself than to know that you’re the one calling the shots in your life. Your payoff is for you to decide what you want to feel. Do you want to feel happy, feel bad or you want to be right? Which one are you choosing for yourself in any given moment?There is no better way to empower yourself than to know that you're the one calling the shots in your life. Click To Tweet
I was just wanting to say, we talked about that at the workshop is when you ultimately get down to that final decision or way of getting off the crossroads or taking action. It’s always, “Will this make me feel better or will this make me feel worse? What do I want to do?” That’s very true and accurate. The problem is sometimes we might think we’re doing something that could make us feel better but actually, deep down we have a payoff for continuing to hurt. It gets even more complicated.
My intention is that we don’t make this complicated and complex that you feel like you have to go to college to figure this out. Rather, bringing it down to simplicity is that we ask the simple question. You can ask this question every time you go. Every time you go to make a decision, you can decide if you want to be unconscious or conscious. If you’re choosing to be conscious or aware is another way of putting that, you can ask yourself, “What’s the purpose? What’s my payoff for doing this?” I have used these many times before I ever speak, especially when I remember to do so. When I do that, then I can look and see if I’m elevating the situation myself and the person or am I depleting or bringing it down, lowering the attitude, the outcome, the energy that will set things in a different way? Always remember that every moment you are creating, you’re creating your future by reading to what it is that we’re stating. You are creating awareness and you have moved to a self-development place, which is what our work is about, to an awareness level that allows you to stop and think before you do some of the things that you do. Everything you do is creating, contributing to the creation of the next moment.
Everything you say is contributing to the creation of the next moment. Everything that you feel is contributing to the creation of the next moment. What are you doing in each moment that’s going to create the moment next? When you ask yourself, “What’s my payoff here?” Look very closely and discern for yourself. If the moment that is going to happen next is going to be something that brings you pleasure, brings you guilt, brings you sadness, brings yourself down, enhances your sense of not feeling like enough or is it going to empower you? Is it something that will help you feel better about the next moment that each one of these little moments is creating the moment that is next? That’s why it’s so critical that you are aware. Every podcast I’m speaking about awareness. When you have awareness, you can make choices consciously. Conscious choices make a significant difference in what you’re tomorrow is going to look like.
If you’ve spent many years being in a place of unconscious thinking and payoffs that were creating more of the things that you don’t want in your life, then this day can shift everything for you by making a decision to be awake, aware and conscious of what it is that you’re doing, thinking, feeling, saying and what’s your payoff for doing it? If you’ve got resentment, anger, frustration and all kinds of things that don’t feel good inside of yourself, you’re going to want to project that out, make somebody else feel bad, which actually is only going to make you feel bad. That never brings your next moment to be the one that you truly would like, which is always trying to reach a place of feeling good, feeling better, feeling elevated.
This ties in totally to what we did in our workshop, Everyday Strategies for Happiness. The truth is we want to be happy. The one absolute takeaway that most people could see is that happiness is a choice. Just like we have that choice to see what the payoff is or what is not a payoff, we have a choice to create our own happiness, to create happiness around us or not. In every moment, looking at the payoffs and looking at all the different aspects that go into what makes us happy and not happy is our choice. It’s so true, we create our tomorrow that way.
The question in the Ask Esateys section is a little bit of a long question and it’s a very powerful one. This was asked by Julia. Julia said, “Could you address the topic of long-distance relationships in your podcast? I’m curious about what you think.” Julia moves around a lot for work and she has a friend who from the best I could tell from her email was that she was not romantically involved with but they were good friends. What I’m guessing was that was changing. She said additionally, “I’d like to ask how to best deal with uncertainties regarding a “future together” in a relationship and how big decisions or sacrifices can be dealt with. I try to live in the moment but sometimes it’s hard. He was right. I said that especially that I’ve experienced a bond that I wouldn’t have believed to be possible.” Julia, I understand the depth of that question.
Julia, this is something that is very perplexing for most people and it’s an interesting conundrum. When we develop a relationship long-term, one of the things that have to occur is for you to decide what it is that you ultimately want. You also reach a place where you have to prioritize what is the most important thing for you. Is it your job or is it having a relationship? Maybe you don’t know that for sure at the beginning because you don’t want to give up your job to go find that out. My suggestion is that you spend as much time as you possibly can with each other offline, meaning not in person and also in person. You make a point of seeing each other in person physically as often as you can for as long a period of time that you can. There’s something very different about being in person with someone versus being online with someone. That means that you also want to be online, which you are on some way, the phone, online. I suggest Zoom or Skype or something where you can see each other, and you start to talk about things that are very deep. I’m sure that you’re already doing that.
The number one thing is that you must be authentic. You must be real. It’s so much easier not to be. It’s so much easier to be this happy little somebody when you’re speaking online with somebody because you can get off the computer or hang up the phone and scream for a moment. You don’t have to show them that you’re angry at your child or your boss when you’re online because you don’t frequently get to those places, instead you’re talking about things that are so awesome about them or places you might want to go or all these other things. It’s like being on vacation all the time. When you live with somebody day-to-day, you run out of places to hide. People that continue to hide their relationship is because most of the time they’ve been hiding for so long about who they are because they don’t even know that. Julia, the first step is to be completely authentic. Be 100% real. If you feel grumpy, you be grumpy. If you feel you are lonely and missing, you speak that. If you feel impatient, be impatient. If you feel loving, be loving. Watch where you might hold back in any single area of your life when you are communicating or being with this person.There’s something very different about being in person with someone versus being online with someone. Click To Tweet
The second thing is to be the exact same way, meaning real. When you see each other in person, make a point of seeing each other and experiment with what happens when. If both of you find that the union, the attraction and the connection are very important to you, your priorities will change and you’ll start to look more deeply into, “Do we have our core principles and our core values aligned? What about children? Do you both have children or not have children? Do you want children or do they not want children? What are their spiritual beliefs? What are their intellectual needs?” All those other kinds of things. What kinds of values are aligned? Most people don’t look at a relationship that way and maybe it sounds a little mental, but I will tell you that if you can’t be yourself and you can’t communicate openly, then that means that your likelihood of a relationship being successful long-term is unlikely because you go in guarded. You’re not going to get less guarded when you’re in there in all likelihood. That needs to be handled straight up front.
Let’s say that you’ve progressed, and you find that you are wanting to be with each other, then you decide what it is that you want, and you start to look at different options about how to make that relationship work together. For some people, it might be that they see each other periodically for some period of time and then maybe you can create a way for you to be living together permanently if that’s what you want. There are actually people that choose to live apart and just be with each other periodically, whatever that is for them. You have to know yourself and have that person need to know themselves. You need to talk about it and be very real. The first thing is to start to find out if this relationship is something that would be long-term. From what it is that you said, the bonding thing, it sounds like you’re going much deeper than most people frequently do. That means that if you’ve got that kind of bond, then that means that you’re telling all the truth all the time. You’re happy, sad, mad, glad, your fears, your worries and you’re not pretending that you’re somebody that you are not. If you are, get over that right away because you cannot hide it after you’ve been with somebody for a lot of years. Who you are is going to show up sooner or later. What was the second part of the question?
How big decisions are made and the sacrifices that are consequent with that.
It could look like a sacrifice. That’s where you have to determine where your priorities are. If your biggest need and desire is to have a job that is going to not allow you to spend a full-time, so to speak with this person or live in the same city, then you have to make a decision, “Is it my job or is it my relationship? Can you have your job or your career be something that you can develop in either one of the cities? What other aspects of your career could you utilize if you wanted to be together that you could utilize while living together in the same location?” There’s much more to this. If you want some support, remember I always do coaching and I am more than happy to set up a session with you. Continue to follow the podcast because hopefully those kinds of things will help you be supported in a way to come to some conclusions that will be more supportive. I am really delighted and appreciative that you wrote. It’s an important thing and I can feel your connection. I can feel your pull towards this person. I know your head is right in the middle of it as well and that side is conflict.
I have a little different perspective. From the male point of view, I like to throw this out there and ask you, Julia, to think about it and anyone else who’s in that same situation. When I first met Esateys, she was my teacher and then we became friends. For many years, we were just friends. I helped her with her business. She helped me with a lot of different things, but we had no romantic relationship. That changed over time. What I will ask you, Julia, is to think about this. Sometimes you’re online, you get to communicate, be with, share with, etc. with your partner, although there’s no physical contact. The question is, how important is the physical contact? How much is the sexual or even a physical contact create to draw the two of you have to each other?
When Esateys and I were together, we were good friends and we never even thought about any of that stuff. That set us up for a much better and stronger relationship because as Esateys was saying, we knew who we were and we got that. All I would say to you is to look deeply at how much the physical intimacy, how much the physical contact piece is a part of your desire to be with this person and whether you can get the same benefits or you can feel that same intimate, close connection just by talking and being online rather than physically together. You would get together as well. The question is what’s most important to you? That’s a big factor in dealing with this issue.
I agree with you, which is one of the reasons I said is be together to see where that’s at. I will give you an example. There was somebody that I hadn’t met in person and I had a very strong connection with. We spoke on the phone for like four or five hours every night for months. We were so excited to meet each other. He was the brother of somebody that I knew very well but I had not met him. This person flew up to see me and it was so not the physical piece that I wanted. In those days, we didn’t have Zoom and Skype and everything where everything was on video and all of that, so I’d never seen the person. I just knew he was a professional. He was very funny, very smart and all those things. I was totally in love with that, but then I never felt any physical attraction when I met the man and saw him.
It was stressful for me because I told the truth, so we ended up being friends after that. We were never sexually friends because there was just not any connection. That’s why the physical piece that you’re speaking about, Rafael, is important and it’s an important piece for each person to think about. Being in person is the only way you’re going to be able to complete the picture. It sounds like you definitely have a good emotional connection, intellectual connection and what other kinds of connections that you have. I’m not clear based on your question and what you wrote to us, whether you’ve had any physical connection or not. That piece needs to be cleaned up right away, handled or looked at.Everything you say is contributing to the creation of the next moment. Click To Tweet
It’s just good stuff to think about, be aware of and let it unfold as it does. Go with the flow.
We have a question. The question as you know is a rhetorical question that I invite you to ask yourself as often throughout the day as you possibly can. Write this down and utilize it because it will make a difference in your awareness factor and it will help you be clearer about how you’re creating your life. Here’s our question, “What is my payoff for what I’m about to say or do?” When you ask yourself that question, you are going to be much more aware and you will be making a conscious choice to feel good or not to feel good. It may seem like you’re feeling good right in that moment, but look again, look underneath that and see what pain or some core issue that may be showing up for you. “What is my payoff for what I’m about to say or do?” and then choose consciously about what happens next?
That’s a very powerful question because these payoff things are so tricky, but they’re very important to get. When you keep going down deeper and deeper under the covers, then you get down to what’s driving you and then you’ll know freedom.
Please do write to us more questions. Please make comments. Your feedback is important. Tell your friends what you’re reading to. Send them the link and know that you are appreciated beyond measure. We can’t wait to connect with you next time.
Next time, our program is relationships as a tool for self-development. There’s always a bigger picture.
Feel a hug.
Bye for now.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.