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leadership personal growth

No pain, no gain

If pushing the limits helps you gain strength and the process of acquiring strength involves pain, logically pain is good for you. Right? Unfortunately, we weren’t wired to think that way. We can’t stand pain. In fact, we run away from pain let alone embrace it.

Someone wise once said, “Pain + Reflection = Progress.” There’s so much truth to that! But most people neither have the mental toughness to endure the pain nor the patience to pause and reflect. Yet, we all desire progress. If only there was a way to achieve all that we wanted without any stress.

And since we can only dream about that, our best bet is to come to terms with the reality and accept that there’s no avoiding pain, if they wish to be successful. In fact, the bigger your goals and ambitions are, the greater pains you will have to endure.

In my experience, experiencing discomfort is a powerful way to find solutions. It forces you to reflect on your choices, weaknesses, and the possible solutions you can apply. I get it, reflecting would be the last thing in your mind when in pain. Heck, you would rather be distract than think about it! But you can always do it afterwards, when the pain has subsided and you’re feeling better.

The key is to not miss out on a powerful opportunity to learn and evolve by not pushing through. It’s the essence of all of our human evolution — sticking it out till the end, only to start over from a much better place.

And if you’re one of those rare individuals who thinks all this pain and reflection is overrated, I hear you. It probably isn’t for you. But know that you haven’t failed enough to make you wince in pain. The challenge with that is you don’t know what it means to try harder or push your limits, which means you haven’t maximized your potential yet. Unfortunately, that’s the minimum requirement to be better or reach that “higher” place of progress that everyone aspires to be.

I enjoy the cyclical process of pushing the limits, experiencing pain, reflecting, learning, breaking through or failing again. So much so that I’m addicted to it. Because, I know I get better and wiser as I work my way through each cycle. For me, it’s a rite of passage I have to go through to get to the other side.