It might not be today but it will come one day Brethren!
Am not a fan of TV just as much as your teenage daughter is. Apparently though I happened to stumble upon some TV talk show on a one K24 (am told that should mean Kenyan all the time. Any employee of theirs who reads this can confirm please). If my memory is served right, the show was named or rather is branded “Talk Central”. Anyway thing is, I was not meant to follow through the show but some articulate lady caught my attention giving her views on the topic under discussion. They were discussing the issue of “Sponsors” Is that word familiar gang? Fast forward to the lady and arguing vividly she said “…the only these young girls don’t know is that as they are happy running around with those old buddies in their flashy cars (and sagging tummies- my own hehe), some lady somewhere was patient enough to keep up with their boy version long back and walk the journey of molding them into “the sponsors” you are happy to associate with now” Sorry this is not all about ladies dear Feminists. Apologies but this is about the entire society at large. Some culture of immediate gratification has cropped up and to say the least its exasperating!
Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence, everybody in our league wants to win it — but not everyone is willing to suffer through the weeks and months leading up to it. People want success without the risk.
Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship — but not everyone is willing to go through the tough communication, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “What for?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was it all for?” If not for their lowered standards and expectations for themselves 20 years prior, then what for?
Because success and happiness requires struggle. You can only avoid pain for so long before it comes roaring back to life.
At the core of all human behavior, the good feelings we all want are more or less the same. Therefore what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing to sustain.
“Nothing good in life comes easy,” we’ve been told that a hundred times before. The good things in life we accomplish are defined by where we enjoy the suffering, where we enjoy the struggle.
People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately love the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.
People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to love the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not. Some people are wired for that sort of pain, and those are the ones who succeed.
People want a boyfriend or girlfriend. But you don’t end up attracting amazing people without loving the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.
What determines your success is “What pain do you want to sustain?”
I’ve always loved the idea of being a surfer, yet I’ve never made consistent effort to surf regularly. Truth is: I don’t enjoy the pain that comes with paddling until my arms go numb and having water shot up my nose repeatedly. It’s not for me. The cost outweighs the benefit. And that’s fine.
On the other hand, I am willing to to stammer around in the afternoon and sometimes in heavy rains for hours with people who share the same dream over and over and over again. Because that’s the sort of pain and stress I enjoy sustaining. That’s where my passion lies, not just in the pleasures, but in the stress and pain.
There’s a lot of self advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”
That’s only partly true. Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something badly enough. They just aren’t being honest with themselves about what they actually want that bad.
If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the six pack, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten.
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.
So I ask you, “How are you willing to suffer?”
Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns.
Choose how you are willing to suffer.
Because that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have the same answer.
The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?
Because that answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.
So what’s it going to be?
You might want to check out …Success Factor