Emotional Equations: Calling = Pleasure/Pain

in #life4 years ago

Hi Steemians, as I promised yesterday, starting today we will dive into a new part of Chip Conley's book, Emotional Equations: Getting the most of your work life.
Could sound weird that we will correlate emotions with the working environment but we are there at least 40 hours/week and we are there with all our emotions. The first we will discuss is Calling.

  1. How many of you ever thought about your real calling in life?
  2. How many of you can say that you live and work following your calling?
  3. Have you ever saw people around you living their calling? Do you consider them inspiring?

There are a lot of things we can say about calling, one of the best exercises I know is writing in 3 columns:

  • What you do best
  • What you like best
  • What you admire about others.
    Then find the matching point between the 3 lists. And you should be quite close to your calling.
    When someone finds his calling, both passion and tranquility will emerge, intense and calm in the same time.
    Now, getting back to the book:

Calling = Pleasure/Pain


Pleasure is nowadays considered the same thing as short term satisfaction and comfort. This is partially true but as Aristotle said, there are different types of pleasure, some of them noble, some of them corrupt.
In this equation we will consider only the noble type of pleasures as they are an active part of our Calling. The most useful quality of a pleasure is it's anesthetic role. In relation to the pain, feeling the pleasure will diminish the pain and will help us resist on our way.
The examples given in the book with both pleasure and pain are from giving birth to work an entire night for a project you care for.


"Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever" - This is what Lance Armstrong said in relation to his calling. Every pain will end at some point and after that point there is a higher level of consciousness.
The more in flow we are when making an activity , the less pain we will feel.
Having pain reduced will increase the feeling that we are living our calling. When the pain will be high, our activity would be a torture.

How to use the equation

1. Find those moments in your life when pleasure was higher than pain

The ideal case would be to find this type of moments in your job also. If you won't, maybe you should reconsider your activity to integrate the type of activity you recall as pleasure over pain.

2. Search for the "I want" versus "I must" in your life

Is another method with the same result as the first one, in case you cannot recall anything. The "must" is usually associated with the pain and the "want" with the pleasure.

3. Is your current activity adding energy to your life or exhausting you?

The answer of this question can be also a good indicator of the place you are now and if you should consider making some changes and bring more energy and will in your daily job.


Calling is not about doing amazing stuff but about doing whatever you do with passion and drive.
You will know when you reach the point when you'll be calm but passionate about what you do, convinced that you are in the right place to be. You can have more than one calling in your life, you just need the courage to admit it, leave behind the one that is not anymore bringing you joy and follow the other.
And more than doing, you will become a better person, day after day, finding the motivation to keep going inside you.


I am still looking. Running around like a headless chicken. One day...one day..

Have you tried the first tip? Working with the 3 columns. The result won't be a very specific one but for sure you can use it as guidance.

Very interesting idea to split Calling in Pleasure and Pain. I have never think to like that, but definitely we should choose our jobs according with these two variables.
Thanks for the idea!

You're welcome. Yes, the report should always be more than 1, at least

Or, why not, infinite

this is the spirit and that is the right direction :D

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