“No pain, no gain,” they say. They are wrong. You can gain many things easily and with pleasure, like weight, for example, while having birthday cakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What can be hard is losing all that you gained.
I know, I am not supposed to read this saying this way, but I was tempted. A birthday cake’s on my mind.
Speaking seriously, I don’t believe in pain as the major means to achieve your goals. Yes, you have to work towards them, yes, you have to make some efforts, but all these efforts don’t have to be a torture. Unless you are a masochist and torture is a pleasure for you, then yes, go ahead. If you are mentally healthy, well, more or less, your work must be seasoned with love, curiosity and fun.
I like what Jerry Seinfeld said in one of his interviews. “Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you’re comfortable with.” By torture Seinfeld meant the creative struggle he has to deal with when writing new jokes. Being funny is not an easy task, but he sticks to it because he loves it and knows he can do it.
Yes, you will have some difficulties to overcome and some problems to solve on your way, but stick to what brings you joy, and the pain won’t matter and, with time, will probably disappear completely. The power of habit forces the pain out. Anyone’s experience with physical exercises proves it. The more you work out the easier it gets. The most difficult part is always to start, and most of us don’t ever start at all for fear of pain that seems to be unavoidable. But it will go away when you become stronger as a result of everyday practicing.
I picked up a bit of advice from Scott Adams, the Dilbert’s creator, who recommends starting slowly, the way that tomorrow you won’t regret about yesterday’s training your body. I think this simple rule can be applied to any area of human activity. Don’t set gigantic goals right away and don’t expect immediate results. Walk slowly and you will arrive safely and painlessly. Big expectations bring big disappointments, so don’t have them. Make small steps and enjoy each of them. The speed can be increased along the road when you feel you are ready.
My conclusion is simple, “No pain, more gain.”