Pain is part of life but suffering is optional.
What do I mean by that?
Well, pain is a necessary part of the growth process. When you go to the gym and exercise for example you push your muscles and body beyond its current limits so it learns to adapt to a new level of resistance.
Same as in any other area of your life, whether it’s growing your business, your intimate relationship, or your finances. Pain and problems are a healthy part of life.
The idea is to continue to grow by trading your low quality problems for higher quality problems. As you do you’ll realize that your problems only get bigger the more successful you become.
The further you progress the bigger the challenges. The cool part is that you also become better equipped at handling the challenges.
The reason I say suffering is optional is because it is the meaning we give to the pain that determines whether we suffer or not.
Some people have been conditioned to see the bad in everything no matter how great they’ve got it.
Others have trained themselves to see the beauty in everything no matter how bad they’ve got it. A great example of this is the book ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl.
Ultimately suffering comes from being overly focused on yourself. It’s hard to be depressed, angry, sad, frustrated, etc. when you are focused on serving others.
A great thinker of Persia, Sa’di, writes in an account of his life,
‘Once I had no shoes, I had to walk barefoot in the hot sand, and how miserable I was. Then I met a man who was lame, for whom walking was very difficult. I bowed down to heaven at once and offered thanks that I was much better off than he who had not even feet to walk upon.’
One thing I like to do when I start to notice I am moving into a suffering state is think about how I can cheer someone else up. Can be as simple as shooting a text message or making a phone call to someone you think would appreciate some love from you.
Listen on the podcast.