The whining continued. Bramble kept pushing his favourite toy to his guardian for him to throw it and play with him but his guardian refused. Though it was painful to hear him whine and whine, his guardian knew that rest was necessary for his recently operated fractured leg to heal. The pain of the surgery not healing outweighed the pain of his incessant whine!
You have some degree or form of pain in your life all the time. There is always something that is grinding or poking you (whether it is physically or metaphorically). It disturbs your peace, robs your tranquillity, or draws you away from pleasure. It could include the lack of time, energy, money, health, love, connection, or strength. It affects everyone whether they are rich, poor, healthy, or not. The reality is that if you are striving for anything in life, it is not going to come easy. Anything worth working for is not going to come easy. If it was easy, you wouldn’t derive much pleasure out of it because it would not be special nor unique. Remember that you are special and unique and deserve more than commonplace or mediocrity.
It is going to involve some form of pain in achieving that goal. There lies the rub. If you are going to be in pain anyway, you might as well make it the right kind of pain. Choose the right mindset, activity, and emotions to obtain what you want. It is going to be painful but at least you are moving in the right direction, a place where you want to be. Compare this to allowing life to just happen to you as you were not intentional which results in pain anyway, but not of your choice.
If you want a healthy body, you will need to eat the right food, exercise, and rest well. You may feel pain avoiding the food you love but are unhealthy, getting yourself to do that run or going to the gym, or skipping those night outs with your friends so you can sleep at a sensible time. If you want financial wealth, you will have to create value so the marketplace pays you. That will take time, resilience, change (for most, massive change which will be uncomfortable), and learning from failure. One of the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to endure pain. He or she who lasts the longest wins. The last man or woman standing. If you want a successful relationship with anyone including yourself, you need to put in time and energy in nurturing that relationship.
If you want more time (which is an impossible notion, by the way, time is a constant, not a variable. What you really mean is to have more time for yourself to do the things you want to do), you need to manage yourself, prioritise what is important to you and what is not. It means giving up some things for the moment. You have to focus. Focusing on ONE thing has a guaranteed consequence: other things don’t get done. There is no such thing as time management, only self-management.
So, understand that in life, it is almost normal to have pain. The question is what sort of pain. Is it pain you choose or pain that is imposed on you. Either way, pain will be present. Be sure to choose the right pain so you can obtain the right results. You may feel like your muscles are straining when doing that rep or push-up. You may feel torn between thinking about your work and spending time with your loved ones (being fully present for them). You may feel left out when you are building your business or honing your skills. However, remember that you will always suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is that the pain of discipline weighs ounces while the pain of regret weighs tonnes.
Using a professional athlete as a metaphor, she knows she has to eat the right food at the right amount (no excessive desserts, fast food, or high sugar loads), train her body (going to the gym, running that distance), and rest well (no late nights partying). If she did not do that, she would not be able to achieve what she set out to be. There is a price to pay. It is the same for you. Whatever you want in life, there is a price to pay. Only you know whether you want to pay that price or not.
You may have heard others say, “But I do not want so much in life. Life is too short. I just want to enjoy myself. I don’t want any pain. Why should I put myself through pain if I am happy the way I am?” They may think, “No pain, no gain. But I do not want any gain anyway so why should I put myself through pain?” There lies the catch and irony. If you do nothing at all, you will not get nothing. Instead, you will get pain. Think about it. If you exercise, you get great health. If you do not, you do not get ‘neutral’ health, you get ill-health instead. If you put the effort into your work, you may get promoted. If you do not, you may not get neutral results, you may get fired! If you put the effort into your relationship, it may grow. If you do not, it would not stay neutral, you will lose the relationship!
“This is not fair! I didn’t do anything wrong!” That is correct but you did not do anything right either! Such is life. We are meant to grow and growth can be painful. Pain is a good thing, it reminds us that we are living. The only time when we do not feel pain is when we are dead. Be sure to choose your pain wisely to get the results you desire. Because there was pain, the fruits of success can taste sweeter. “No pain, no gain” is certainly accurate. However, remember that no effort equals pain too.
How much pain are you willing to put yourself through to get what you want?
‘We cannot learn without pain.’ – Aristotle
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