Chapter 1: Using the Pleasure Principal to Your Advantage


Do you remember how, when you were still a child, your mother gave you your favorite foods to eat when you said you weren’t hungry?

That is because she understood the rule that folks do what they want to do, more often than they don’t. This principle is actually very simple to understand.

All people are driven by the pleasure principal, and not by pain.

In fact, when we feel happy our brains release a chemical called serotonin that gives us a sensation not unlike a high.

People involved in the art of manipulating others often use this principle to get their way. Time off from work after the firm achieves its goals is more than just being nice to staff – it creates a mental link between your happiness, and the firm doing well, and increases the likelihood of you helping it do better in the future. Teaching elephants to dance to music, by rewarding them with gifts of peanuts, works exactly in the same way.

To get back to studying, this means that you are unlikely to succeed with your online education project if you do not enjoy the content of your distance learning course. In other words, if you find mathematics boring, or sociology uninteresting, think again, regardless of why you believe require that particular online degree. You must do upfront research before you start, to ensure that you harness the power that will make these principles work for you as well.

Understanding the subject matter of an online education degree program

There’s no substitute for objective knowledge, and you really should take the time that is required to make sure that the degree that you are considering is the right one for you. Here are a few ideas that I’ve used myself and helped others with too:

Contact the virtual campus where you are considering studying and ask to see the see recent past examination papers for the online degree that you have in mind. In this regard make sure that the papers are still relevant, as syllabi do change from time to time. If the exam questions for the final year bore you witless, then you already have your answer. If you go straight to your favorite search engine to find out more, then you could be at the beginning of a sound decision. Remember, it is your unfolding vision of the subjects that you study that will keep you going through hard times.  While you’re chatting to your prospective university institution, ask for a list of first year prescribed books too. Research these on the internet, to either re-confirm, or disprove your interest.

Assuming that the signs are already reading positive, and there’s a possibility that your online degree program could hold your interest right through to the very end, then the next step is to speak to a few of the online university’s professors, to find out what kind of people you could be working with. If you are pleased by their reactions, this will be yet another positive sign. Genuine online lecturers welcome student contact, and will be only too happy to answer the questions that you need to ask, and to confirm your own ideas.

The final stage in your research should be to speak to a few successful students, who recently completed the education program that you are interested in too. Ask one of the lecturers you chatted with for their email contacts – people are always flattered when asked for their advice. Tell these students about your aspirations. Ask them what went best (and worst) for them. If all the signs are positive, then you’re definitely heading in the right direction.


Chapter 1: Using the Pleasure Principal to Your Advantage
Chapter 2: Thinking in Terms of Goals
Chapter 3: Staying in Touch with Family, Friends and Colleagues
Chapter 4: Creating a Special Place to Study and a Formal Study Plan
Chapter 5: Establishing a Formal Study Program and Balancing Your Time
Chapter 6: Expanding Your Capacity to Study
Chapter 7: The Final Hurdles – Spotting for Success and Examination Time