July 18, 2008.
"There are no gains without pains."
No pain, no gain. How many times have we heard this oft-repeated adage? More than a handful, that's for sure. But what does it really mean? In a nutshell, this saying reminds us that we're going to experience some rough times and tough moments as we make our way through life. No doubt about it, we're going to stumble, maybe even take a tumble or two somewhere along the way. And it's going to hurt whenever we fall.
Sometimes it's really going to hurt.
Like it or not, pain in some form or fashion just comes with the territory. If we are going to venture out, spread our wings and try new things, there's a chance we'll slip and get hurt; a pretty good chance at that. How we manage to deal with the pain we experience in life in large measure determines how far we travel.
"Pain is one of life's great lessons. You need to know how you'll react to the negatives in your life. Only then will you learn from the pain, and the next time it happens, you can speed up your healing process."
Some folks have the ability to shrug off life's setbacks and get on down the road. They just keep working, keep grinding and keep moving in the direction of their goals. When they encounter heartache and heartbreak, they shake off the pain and keep on plugging. When life knocks them down, they get up, get better and get going again.
And while it certainly hurts to get bounced around in their quest to be their best, they never give in to the pain. These champions have a date with destiny and nothing on earth is going to stop them from fulfilling it.
They know pain. And they know they can overcome it.
"If you don't know about pain and trouble, you're in sad shape. They make you appreciate life."
Then there are others that routinely allow pain to handle them. The moment the heat gets turned up; they fold their tents and run for cover. The mere prospect of maybe getting hurt, maybe falling down chills them right to the bone. And the slightest tinge of actual pain can haunt them for months and years; maybe even a lifetime.
They think they know pain. And they want no part of it. But it's what they don't know that hurts them the most. In their futile attempt to play it safe, they unknowingly subject themselves to more pain, more sorrow and more sadness than if they would have just faced the pain and plowed right through it in the first place. By doing nothing, they end up with nothing. Nothing but a lifetime littered with regrets, second-guessing and thoughts of what might have been.
In their effort to avoid pain at all costs, they cost themselves plenty.
"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."
Let's face it, chasing our dreams can prove to be a grueling, demanding, exhausting pursuit to say the very least. There are problems over here, difficulties over there, wall-to-wall troubles brewing at every corner; potholes and traps strewn all over the place. In our defining moments of truth, when choices must be made and what we're all about is put to the ultimate test, we can trample the pain - or it can trample us.
We can rise to the challenge and blast through the problems and the pain - or we can give in and allow the pain to stop us dead in our tracks.
If we're going to get where we truly want to go, we're going to have to know pain - and know it up close and personal. Now that doesn't mean we have to enjoy it; not at all. But it is absolutely crucial that we condition ourselves to meet, beat and defeat pain whenever it creeps into our lives.
The minute we begin beating the pain, we gain strength, confidence and self-awareness. By pushing through the pain, we gain joy, happiness and fulfillment. As a matter of fact, we start gaining something positive, something uplifting, and something truly inspirational in virtually every aspect of our lives when we power through the pain. By showing the courage, determination and tenacity to blast through any pain that we feel, we conquer pain once and for all.
The Bottom Line: Get to know pain and you'll get to know gain.
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