Pleasure in Pain

In Moving Through Walls I discuss the...

Nov 4th, 2019

Israel Ellis Headshot

Israel Ellis

Pleasure in Pain

5 Min Read

In Moving Through Walls I discuss the pleasure-pain relationship within the psychological framework, in that we are manipulated by the residence within our subconscious motivators that influence the choices we make..  This behavioral rationale is the pleasure we seek directly correlated with the injustices we collect. So buckle up and get ready to discover one of the mind’s greatest powers that either limit you from or release you towards becoming your greatest self.

Freud considered our emotions partnered with sadomasochism at work where there exists the self opportunity for sadistic and masochistic behaviors fuelled by our ego (id).  The level of emotional disorders arising from the repression of the subconscious is going to extenuate the outcome of neurotic tendencies. Erich Fromm expanded this idea to include complete societal behavior by way of explaining the voluntary acquiescence of trading one’s own freedoms for authoritarian control.  Fromm’s Escape from Freedom (1941) explores German society’s role in and psychosocial conditions that facilitated the rise of Nazism and the attraction to Hitler.  Post-Freud psychiatrist Edmund Bergler concerned himself mainly with the individual’s behavioral motivation, theorizing on the idea that all human actions are the byproduct of unconscious motivators in seeking pleasure.

When I came across these ideas as a young man – I was taken aback by the possibility that my own undoing could be self orchestrated.   While this was seemingly irrational it was the impetus for my own discovery that there was likely a part my subconsciousness played into my conscious decision-making process.

I will often get a knee jerk “no-way!” defensive response to the pain-pleasure idea – but that is just it, your instinctive response to anything that would suggest you are the architect of your own destruction would seem preposterous and it’s natural to respond defensively to this idea.  The last thing that you want to consider in the navigation of your ship, is that you share in the responsibility of going off course.

Over the years I have continued to dive deeply into my psyche never letting up in the aftermath of a bad outcome to find my own responsibility.  The result is that I am fixing something by calling it forward. I do this by being accountable to myself. Even when the line of responsibility is vague.  It is the path of least resistance to find fault somewhere else. But if you take the position to announce out loud your culpability the effect can be immediate and autonomous.    I figured that if it works for me it must work for others.

“I am solely responsible for the outcome and pain caused by this situation”, “I took the actions that created this outcome because I take complete pleasure on some level by the personal injustice and grievance that this causes me”.  A little personal beratement perhaps?  – it may seem so, but in actuality what you are doing is openly taking responsibility and being directly accountable with this admission.  The effect is almost instantaneous, a shift occurs in the conscious choices you make which then serve a different master of pleasure, and that is closer in alignment with your conscious goals for the life you really want to live.   The simplicity is life-changing and almost magical. There is incredible power in bringing forth the unknown, unconscious drivers within our psyche that are the decisive forces in the process of the choices we make.  It could literally mean money in the bank for you.

The stories and ideas I discuss in Moving Through Walls are based on the fact that we make conscious choices that ultimately are driven by our intuitive health.  Our intuitive health is going to depend on calling out self damaging manipulators residing within on subconscious. Deep within our psyche, there is an emotional feeding frenzy at an unconscious level that is driven by a void in our basic emotional needs, a trauma experienced, an unresolved grievance and so on.   You cannot see these things, there is no imaging machine that will play that picture for you. Along the road to self-betterment, we are able to change our thinking that will show self-destructive rationale the exit door.   These unconscious manipulators work against our conscious vision of achieving the greatest possible outcomes for our personal and professional lives.

In Moving Through Walls I have narrowed the answers to four foundational principles. These ideas are tools to achieve the life you want to live. Embrace them and make them your own.

– Israel Ellis


I wrote Moving Through Walls out of a purpose to share what I have learned.

If you have a deep desire to find that road less travelled to your greatest self. Then you have likely come to the right place.

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Lets make the HERO WALL happen Be a hero, change the world! Tell your Hero Story Here

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YOU are the hero that will change the world!

Accelerators are the fuel for greatness. With every personal and professional project that we commit to and bring to the finish line, we increase the confidence we have in ourselves, the faith that others have in us, and our abilities to achieve larger tasks. But to open those doors, it starts with commitment. It starts with taking the shot. Just do it! as the famous ad campaign goes.

Mrs. Ellison, my grade five teacher, who at the time seemed older than God, would single me out because I did not have my lunch or because my work was not completed. She would hear no excuses. It did not matter to her that at ten years old, I had no one to make me lunch or that I would come to school in pretty bad shape. She would look me straight in the eye, a tremor in her voice, point a shaky finger at me, and say, “Young man, where there is a will, there is a way.”

In retrospect, I have to thank her for her unwavering lack of empathy for me, even if the appropriate action might have been to call a children’s aid society. She drummed that phrase into my head and it stuck. When I find myself in front of what appears to be an impenetrable wall, I recount her words, often saying them out loud in a chant-like fashion.

This mantra has kept me pushing and persevering over the years. There is always a way to move through walls. I have moved through many in my journey, and I will move through more. The commitment to moving through walls reminds me that by keeping stock in my faith and asking the universe to deliver, I will find that crack in the dam and a trickle of opportunity will make its way through to lead me to the next great place on my journey.

Challenging ourselves and pushing the boundaries of what we think we’re capable of is a powerful accelerator. Accelerators related to physical endeavors can be particularly powerful. By persevering through physical discomfort, we learn to access new sources of confidence and motivation. Not to mention, it keeps you looking and feeling great, which is an accelerator all on its own!

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Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in six words. He came up with the famous six-word story: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Inspired by this story, Larry Smith of SMITH Magazine challenged others to try to write their lives in six words.

I thought this idea was quite the challenge. How could you encapsulate a life in six words? I was struck by both the brilliant simplicity and the enormity of the challenge: sum up the total sense of who I am and what I believe and package it in a six- word micro-memoir.

I was stumped. For several days, I considered what impact these six words would have on how I value myself. Six words does not allow for any excess; it requires the writer to focus in on what is most important. The exercise took on a new challenge for me. I realized it was asking me to distill my life down to my core essential truth.

When I eventually committed my six words to paper, I felt a great wave of relief come over me. I was calmed by its truth: Living my Life on my Terms. In six words, I captured the feeling of the gratefulness I felt and how far I’d come to understand what a gift life is. Every time I see these words they continue to strengthen and inspire me.

Try it yourself. What are your six words?

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A point of caution here: Stories of grievance have a shelf life. There is a point of repetition where you risk becoming a broken record. No one has the patience to listen to the same grievance over and over again. Grievances can also eventually manifest themselves to include things that did not happen. People who have chosen to dedicate their lives to bearing crosses often become so obsessed that they lose the connection to what really happened.

Don’t become trapped in this cycle. You get a limited number of passes before your story of grievance needs to evolve into one of “heroism”—and this is the story you can tell over and over again. No one gets tired of hearing about heroism. It is motivating and positive. A story of overcoming hardship gives strength to others, and every hero deserves to share their story.

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“If you are meant to be on the path that you are on, the universe will find a way, even when you can’t. When you realize this fact, you will have stumbled upon one of the secret ingredients for success; if you focus on “what” you need to happen—you articulate your goal—the universe will supply the “how.” That is the power of faith. ”

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“If you put your best foot forward and do everything within your power, you will come to a place that is your destiny. “Believe” that you are loved. “Believe” that you have value. And “believe” that you are an important part of this vast universe, one that is a far better place because you have chosen to pursue your greatness, and in doing so, have affected the world in ways that you may never become aware of.”

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"People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of."
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

It’s a beautiful summer morning on the ocean, and the perfect wave is coming in. You’ve spotted the wave, paddled hard to be in the right position to catch it, and now you are on the top—on the crest. You lean in, commit yourself, and tip the board forward. You invite the surging force of the breaking water to take over, and the result is a massive jolt of acceleration. Looking back, it seems as if everything that happened was pre-destined, there is such perfect harmony between yourself, your purpose, and nature. In that moment, riding atop the surge, is acceleration. 

"I have trust in my intuition, powered by the confidence that comes from past achievements. I have done it before; I can do it again.”

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“Foundation 4: Forgiveness

The final foundation is forgiveness. When an injustice has been perpetrated against you, it can be incredibly difficult to heal and move forward. That said, when we hang on to the anger that resides deep within us, it tarnishes the soul and blurs our ability to envision and realize the future we desire. To move forward, we must prevail and overcome. But how? How do you move on?
The chapter on forgiveness was the hardest and most personal for me to write. For a long time I struggled to forgive people who had hurt me, but in my journey I realized that only through forgiveness can we unlock a future in which we become the best versions of ourselves. That future is worth the discomfort of being vulnerable. ”

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“What I call the four foundations—openness, faith, future, and forgiveness—are principles that we can use to change the way we interact with the world. These foundations will be the topics of Part One of this book. Our perception—how we see the world around us—is shaped by our life experiences. In our earliest years, we form many of the biases we carry throughout our lives; these biases often predict how we react to the world around us and prevent us from making the changes necessary to living our greatest lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We all have the potential to become mindful of our biases and loosen their grip upon us. With conscious effort, we can achieve a state of being that aligns with who we want to be, not where we came from.People often say that change starts with altering actions and behaviors, but I believe this statement is a case of mistaking means for ends. We start the change process by having a vision of who we want to be or what we want to accomplish. Only then will our actions and behaviors change to accommodate that vision.”

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