Pain on Sale. Anyone?

Pain is everywhere.

If that depresses you, just know that joy is everywhere too.

The problem?

Our tolerance level for pain is reasonably low.

And, our bar to recognize joy is way higher than it should be.

It’s a double-loss really. We can see pain from a mile away but we can’t see joy even if it is right in front of us.

I heard it from Tony Robbins once that we constantly move away from pain and move towards joy.

Want proof? Just watch the design of a 30-second ad on TV. In general, they will show you the pain you feel with something (for example: dirty clothes,) followed by the product (for example: soap powder) and immediately followed by the joy as a result of using their product (for example: ultra-white clothes)

We are trained by this model. See pain. Find a quick solution. Experience joy.

For long-term success though, some things need to change:

1. You need to voluntarily look for the right kind of pain

2. Endure that right kind of pain for an extended period of time

3. Build capacity to make a bigger contribution

4. Enjoy the rewards

5. Repeat the cycle with a different kind of pain.

The key is to remember that if you keep avoiding the right kind of pain in the short-term, you will reach a point in life when you CANNOT avoid the wrong kind of pain. It is the price you pay for the choices you made earlier in life.

Some good news – the right kind of pain is on sale, too, if you are willing to look for it.

If education is the right kind of pain, it’s on sale via others experiences shared on blogs, twitter and via videos.

If keeping in good health is the right kind of pain, it’s on sale via yoga, walking, hiking etc.

If learning to communicate well is the right kind of pain, it’s on sale via a local membership at a Toastmasters Club

You get the idea.

Self-reflection questions:

What kind of pain are you voluntarily signing up for in the coming year?

If you have not thought about this, why not?

Photo courtesy dhanintan on Flickr