Mindful Monday- Choosing pursuits that are worth the pain
BY MISTY JENNEIAHN
“If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”
~Jimmy Dugan " A League of Their Own"
Most people make their way through life chasing dreams while trying to avoid pain and discomfort . It makes sense since nobody wants to feel bad but unfortunately this way of navigating life wastes precious time and energy. Why? Because life will always contain a degree of unavoidable, unpleasant moments. Challenge is inherent in creation.
Trying to avoid or escape pain is not only a waste of valuable resources but it robs us of the ability to really enjoy life...the highs as well as the lows.
“If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you”
Take raising children for example; There's bound to be plenty of joyous moments along the way but if you’ve been a parent long enough you will eventually experience suffering as well. You’ll feel anguish when they are sick or heartbroken. You’ll get angry when they “just won't listen” or you’ll feel exhausted from sleepless nights due to a crying infant or a teenager out past curfew. These unpleasant feelings come with the creation of children. It's just the way it is.
The same applies to a business, a relationship or any other worthwhile pursuit. When you are growing, no matter how you cut it, at times you will encounter a degree of difficulty and struggle. Forgetting this important fact can lead to unnecessary self doubt or abandoned dreams. It's easy to believe that if you're feeling bad, you're doing something wrong. This is simply not true. It usually means you are growing.
“Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles”.
Unconsciously we can fall into thinking that the good things we want will just magically show up one day. We imagine finding the “perfect” man or landing the dream job and suddenly our challenges cease to exist. We see ourselves skipping off into the lavender fields to enjoy our “happily ever after”, believing we can finally say goodbye to the pain forever.
A little presence and practical evaluation will reveal that this simply isn't the case. If we are growing we can be sure that growing pains will follow.
So if you want to start enjoying your life more fully keep these 2 questions front of mind.
- Am I choosing pursuits that are worth the pain I'm bound to experience?
- Am I embracing the discomfort that is a natural part of my journey or resisting it?
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it”
If you’ve chosen your struggles well, you’ll find gratitude in the discomfort of the ride. You'll feel fulfillment in the stretch because it means you are playing a game worth playing.
Remember it’s the huge plummet at the top of a rollercoaster that simultaneously scares the bajeebies out of us and gives us a thrill. Pleasure & Pain, Pain & Pleasure, like peanut butter and jelly they go together.
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