Taking Control of Your Life | Mastering Pain & Pleasure


No. Not my toes nails, as gross as they are, my actual fucking toes. After a long day of work, my chubby little foot fingers are in desperate need of a massage. While offering my little chubsters some much needed daily TLC, I often find the odd bit of dead skin. So, I pick it off.

One piece of dead skin removed leads to 5 minutes of careful self grooming, I take great pleasure in my daily toe picking. Yeah, fucking gross right? I know that picking my toes is fucked, but i just can’t stop.

Is this some sort of strange addiction? Do I secretly have some sort of toe fetish? Do I carry a sacred palm sized box around, filling it each day with chunks of crispy dead skin which I later sacrifice to the Gods?
Maybe. Or, maybe I have simply allowed myself to associate pleasure with this daily ritual of self grooming.

Every single habit that you form. Every single action that you take. Every fucking relationship failure in your life.
Two feelings are always responsible.

‘Pain and Pleasure Control Your Life.’


Have you ever stood on the shores of an alpine lake, cold breeze drifting up your legs and under your red bikini? As your friends laugh and cry out in joy, throwing backflips off the rickety rope swing seemingly held together with duct tape and zip ties, you stand frozen in time. You creep a toe into the water, uncontrollably shivering not because you are cold now, rather, your mind is pre-empting the imminent whole body freeze.

Tell me, have you ever sat on your arse smashing your second pint of high carb beer on a Wednesday proclaiming to yourself - ‘Next Week! I will join the gym next week.’ Meanwhile your beer gut grows and your sex life begins to resemble road kill, dead and unmoving.

Now, tell me that you have never been in a soul draining relationship, go on I dare you! If you can honestly say that you have never found yourself sitting in a depressing relationship that has gone on for WAY TO LONG! I commend you girl, and I congratulate you guy.

We all know that plunging into the icy alpine water will end our continued fear of the cold, chances are that plunge will lead to a really pleasurable day. ‘I’ll join the gym on Monday,’ turns into a three month delay. That delay allows more cholesterol to build up in your arteries, those arteries say, ‘Fuck You Tom!’ You have a heart attack, and before you know it your standing inches away from Hitler while the Devil shoves a pineapple up your arse to punish your outrageous list of sins.

Most of us know when we have bad habits. You understand that temporary pain will often lead to long term pleasure. So, why the fuck do you keep procrastinating? Why do you choose to avoid the temporary dissatisfaction? Why do you avoid sharp short term pain in favour of the long slow burning oven of depression and bad habits?

“Isn’t it obvious?
Our brain will always choose pleasure over pain. Our mind does not care for the long term gain, it sees only two paths; avoid pain and seek pleasure.“

I suppose you should just give up then, right? Our brains control our decisions, there is no point trying to change. Wrong! This one is on you my friend! You are not the puppet, rather the puppet master. It’s time to trick your brain and take control of your life.


Controlling your life begins by simply controlling your brain. Once you control your mind, you can control your decisions. Better decisions lead to better habits. These empowering habits accumulate resulting in a more purposeful life filled with growth, significance and happiness.

“So all I need to do is tell my brain to Fuck Off?”

I mean, yeah. You could put it that way, let’s roll with it. The concept is simple and it has been proven to work. Some of the most influential people on our planet tell their brains to ‘fuck off and listen,’ every single day. Take Tony Robbins as an example. Every single day he plunges his body into an icy pool, not because his brain tells him to. He does so in order to remind himself that he is in charge of his decisions, accountability for the day ahead rests on him. His brain is under his control!

Sounds simple, right? Let’s just say, if taking control of your life was simple then everyone would be as successful as Tony Robbins, Jacinda Ardern, Keanu Reeves or Beyoncé. Controlling your decisions, destroying bad habits and willingly embracing pain is really fucking hard! However, It is the only way forward.

The title of this blog suggests that you can master pain and pleasure, if I am honest, that is a lie. No one person has ever (please disprove me!) truly mastered pain and pleasure. Those who control the direction of their lives simply learn how to understand the fundamental emotions that all decisions can be drawn back to.

“You must learn to control your reaction to pain, seek only long term pleasure but be willing to work through short term pain.”

Things that helped me:

  • Train your brain and seek out short term pain.
    Every morning I wake up, stumble to the shower and throw the tap to ‘COLD AS FUCK!’ My brain screams at me, “DON”T YOU FUCKING DO IT MATE!” I jump in, within seconds that pain turns to an overwhelming sense of pleasure as I repeat to myself, “I control you brain.”

  • Do More. Talk Less.
    I used to get a kick out of talking shit. Telling others about what I was planning to do instead of actually doing it. This is still a huge area of improvement for me, but each week I get better. I talk less about what I want to accomplish, I have stopped waiting for inspiration, instead I focus on doing. I am the only one responsible for my life.

  • Use Music.
    If you hate the gym, like really hate the gym, then I guarantee that your willpower will falter. In order to create a long lasting habit you need to associate that action with pleasure. Hate the gym but love people? Join up to classes rather than attempting a solo session.
    Want to lose weight but you can’t give up those delicious pastries? Associate those pastries with pain. Watch a graphic documentary on obesity while those pastries sit in front of your face.
    Personally, music has been a great tool in my quest to control my decisions. Writing a book is fucking hard, some days I just feel like crying and lying in bed feeling sorry for myself. So I force myself to sit at my desk, fill my cup with a delicious drip coffee and throw on my favourite tunes. Before I know it the words flow like a river at the height of spring.

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The most important thing to remember - You are the master! You are accountable for every decision, every action and every fuck up you make in your life. Own it! Control your life and work towards mastering pain and pleasure.

Jacques Massie | Massie Bros