Pain and discomfort are the gatekeepers of success.
They are the guardians of becoming extraordinary. No one enters without meeting — and trading punches — with them first.
Most people see these burly warriors and promptly turn the other way, hoping they were unseen. Most people avoid pain, and try to get through life without ever being unfortunate enough to meet it.
Sadly, this lifestyle actually costs far more energy, time, and effort than just getting on with it. Like avoiding the needle at the doctor, we get sicker and sicker as we avoid the very thing we most need.
“When uncomfortable, my instinct is not to avoid the discomfort but to become at peace with it. My instinct is always to seek out challenges and opposed to avoiding them.” -Josh Waitzkin, world champion chess player
No one becomes extraordinary or achieves true success without overcoming some serious pain.
Pain creates us. It reveals us. It is the fire that hardens us, the crushing pressure that chews up us lumpy pieces of coal and spits out brilliant diamonds.
In the words of Ryan Holiday, “Bad things are fuel. You don’t just want fuel — you need it. You can’t go anywhere without it.”
If you think you’re going to cheat your way into success, and somehow win the pain-free lottery and fall into your wildest dreams without ever breaking a sweat or feeling the sting of rejection or defeat…
Pain is the gatekeeper. No one goes around — you must go through.
And that’s when you realize a funny thing.
You actually kind of like the pain.
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