The Power of Pain: Chapter 1
The Way we Are
The alarm goes off in the morning, we turn to it, hit snooze, and fall back asleep.
It's far easier to eat that doughnut on the way to work than to get up 15 minutes earlier to make a healthy breakfast.
You'll go to the gym tomorrow.
There are clients waiting for your phone call, but it's much easier to procrastinate and scroll through your social media feeds.
There is an attractive girl (or guy) sitting in the cafe alone, you don't go up to them to say hi.
Why read when you can watch a couple episodes of your favourite television show, it's been a hard day afterall.
These are just some of the choices that we make on a daily basis, and although nobody is perfect, everyone is a culmination of the good and bad decisions that they make. If you make net positive decisions, your life will be better than someone who makes a net negative decisions. Put another way - the more pain you are willing to endure on a daily basis, the easier your life will be.
Everything is life is painful. You can either take your pain upfront, or you can defer it.
When you defer pain, it comes back tenfold.
We make decisions everyday that are EASY. We make the COMFORTABLE decisions, simply because those are the decisions that we know aren't going to cause too much pain. However, let's review this list of how our day goes, and the pain that isn't immediate, but the pain that we experience due to regret and missed opportunities:
By hitting snooze, you aren't getting your day started. You are defering the pain for 10 minutes, or an hour, but you eventually have to get out of bed. On top of this, you are going to feel a sense of regret (pain) due to not getting to work on yourself in the early morning - you could be writing your book, building your buisness, your mind, your body, or your relationships with your family. That's far more painful than waking up and getting out of that warm bed.
By eating a doughnut on your way to work (or any other unhealthy meal), you are quite literally shortening your life. We can all have that doughnut once in a while, but once it becomes a habit on the daily, you are making a negative decision that will cause you pain down the road. By eating healthy, it can be a little painful to cook every morning, but you know what is exactly going into your body, and you get the energy that comes with it. A net positive.
By putting off the gym, you are deciding in that moment to forgo discipline and physical activity for the comfort you are accustom to. By not getting out of your comfort zone, you make it harder to do so in the future. It's harder to wade into a frozen lake than to jump in, but the pain is the same. You cause yourself pain later in life when you realize that you can't move as well, or you're not as healthy as you wish you were.
By not phoning your clients, or approaching that man or woman of your dreams, you are postponing pain. It's hard to do these things, but you will feel a worse sense of pain because of the regret that comes with not doing what you know you should do. That next client could be your break you were always dreaming about, and that next girl or guy could be your husband or wife. You'll never know unless you take the pain of rejection upfront. It's much less painful than regret, trust me on this.
Finally, by watching television instead of learning or reading, you aren't expanding your mind - sure we all need to unwind sometimes, but, if that is your default, you will be missing out on hours (that sometimes culminate to A DAY A WEEK) that you could be learning about your craft, learning an enjoyable hobby, spending time with your family or friends, or becoming a more interesting person. Track the time that you A) spend on your phone, B) watch mindless programs, and C) scroll your social media feed. I would be very surprised if this doesn't add up to 24+ hours a week. Guess what you could be doing with 52 extra days a year?
Nobody is perfect, and nobody is a robot. But the decisions that we make on a daily basis create who we are. We can't fathom time on a monthly or yearly basis - we only have today. Today is the day that you take the pain, because tomorrow, you will be grateful for it.
Let's look at another example: Starting a business.
By creating a business, you are in for a tremendously painful time. You will be rejected on a daily basis, you will not know where your next paycheque is coming from for at least 6-12 months, and you will probably have to sacrifice time with friends and family.
But, if this business becomes a success, you will be able to do whatever it is you want, probably for the rest of your life. It make take 5 years, 10 years, or maybe even 20 years. But after that, you get to do whatever you want? For some this is a good deal, for others, they want to live life now. I'm not saying that one choice is better than the other. You get to decide if you want to work until 65+, or if you want to put in some years upfront to get these results in less than a decade.
The equation for an amazing life is as follows:
Upfront Pain X Frequency X Magnitude = Life Outcome
Do the things that are painful upfront, and you will live a life that most people cannot fathom. Most people don't want pain, they want comfort. They want what is called a "comfortable life" in their mind. But, you're reading this book, so you're probably not one of those people.
You want more.
Pain will give you more.