Grigori Raiport wrote a book called Red Gold which describes some amazing exercises to take charge of your mental architecture.

One topic he discusses is your TOP—your threshold of pain. Americans, he accuses, have a low threshold of pain. We take pain meds, drown our sorrows, and do other things to avoid facing that which we don’t want to.

Man, it’s true.

How often I’ve caught myself doing something to distract myself from doing something else. Like checking email instead of boring into the task at hand. Anything to escape the pain, whether it is physical or perhaps just mental drudgery.

As always, awareness is the key. Once you’re aware of the behavior you can help program yourself to avoid it. A simple way I recommend to do this is to use visualization and more specifically to use the Introspection Exercise I learned from a book by Graham Ledgerwood.

Give it a try. Pay attention and see when you’re doing something to avoid doing something else. Use the introspection exercise and replay that movie script and imagine that you’re doing that which you really want to do. Watch the results start happening. (The trick is—be consistent. Daily practice is key.)