Sunday, December 9, 2012

To live means to endure pain

Pain is an unavoidable reality of life. Don’t run away. The key to success is to learn how to accept the pain and grow from it.

What is the opposite of pain?
Nine out of 10 people will say, “Pleasure.”

Incorrect. The actual opposite of pain is “no pain” - i.e. comfort. And while comfort may be very nice, it is not the ultimate pleasure. A person who goes through life chasing comfort will be very disappointed at the end - because if you spend your life avoiding pain, you will also avoid the deepest pleasures.

As much as everyone tries to minimize pain in life, the fact remains that pain is unavoidable. Everything has its ups and downs. Therefore, if we want to succeed in life, the key is not to eliminate pain entirely (for that is impossible), but rather to learn how to understand and accept the pain.

Pain is the price we pay for pleasure. All of life’s lasting pleasures - good relationships, successful careers, the pursuit of meaning - require a lot of effort to achieve.

What we call “pain” is frequently a matter of “effort.” The effort of physical fitness is painful. The effort of thinking through a complex idea is painful. The effort of building a long-term relationship is painful. From here we see that although effort may be “painful,” the goal of life should not be to escape it.

Anyone looking for a smooth ride will miss out on life’s immeasurable pleasures.

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