Growing Through Pain
Watching the children around me growing up, I am always amazed at the amount of pain they are forced to deal with. Illness, uncertainty, divorce, frustration, powerlessness, death…
A child experiences such extreme amounts of pain on a daily basis.
Adults are spoiled. We’ve got the world mostly figured out. We have autonomy, power, understanding, patience, persistence – a slew of strategies for avoiding most pain.
But with that tremendous pain, a child is doing something amazing. They are learning and growing.
We are wired to avoid pain, but that’s too bad: anything worth doing is over a mountain of pain.
I’ve had so many conversations with adults about their different schemes to easily achieve money, power, fame, etc. Different schemes to exploit some thing so they can get rich quick. Ways to fake looking healthy so they can avoid the gym. Ideas on how to convince someone else to do the hard work while they chill and reap the rewards.
They use their massive intelligence to seek pleasure with the least amount of pain.
The unfortunate truth is that the child is filled with pain because they are learning and growing. It is one and the same.
Want to start a business? Be prepared to work 80+ hours a week.
Want to be healthy? Be prepared to read contradicting scientific papers on diet and hit the gym every day.
Want to be an expert in your field? Be prepared to put in 10,000+ hours of hard work, the vast majority of which consists of you failing.
Want to change careers? Be prepared to be humbled real quick. You don’t know shit and everyone else is better than you.
I wish people would learn to embrace pain. It’s one of the world’s greatest secrets. Your success is directly linked to your ability to experience pain.
And sure, some people succeed the cheap way. Some people get lucky and win some form of lottery. They made a stupid game in a weekend and it got a billion downloads, or they uploaded a video that went viral, or they were born into a family with tremendous resources, or have amazing genetics. I pity them.
They will never know the power of pain, and will be filled with the subconscious insecurity that they didn’t earn it.
Instead: earn it.
Fuck the plastic surgery, the scheme, the lottery, the shortcut, the easy way, the tricks, the simple app, the secret plan.
I throw my hat in with the hard way. The painful way. The 10,000+ hour way. The lift-the-fucking-weights way. The every-fucking-day-and-no-one-cares-but-me way.
Fuck the 4 hour work week. Fuck the early retirement. Fuck the investment portfolio.
I’d rather die a failure, poor and alone, in a pool of my blood, sweat, and tears from working myself to the bone, than patting myself on the back on the beach because my clever scheme worked but deep down I know that I’m a fraud.
The frauds can keep their beaches. I’ll keep the pain.