Maybe – likely – this thing we all try to avoid is the key to life.
Suffering is like an onion, layered with different lessons and meanings, and while it’s unpleasant to do, there is value in peeling back those layers.
Suffering yields rewards.
To achieve, we must suffer. We must struggle and risk and fail and learn.
Suffering brings insight.
We learn about ourselves when we suffer, about others when we suffer, about life when we suffer. We learn what is really important, and what isn’t. What we can endure if we want it bad enough.
Suffering is daylight. It exposes what was previously unseen in the nights of ease and pleasure.
Suffering creates gratitude.
We become grateful for what we were not previously grateful for. We long for what we once despised or took for granted.
Suffering hardens every man.
Soft men ruin society. Hard men build it up. Suffering makes you hard, it enables you to withstand more than whatever it is that you just withstood.
Suffering calms us.
Great men are calm. They are not volatile or unpredictable. They’re secure.
A secure man is a lion. My old man isn’t the richest man, but he’s as secure of a man as I’ve ever seen.
I don’t have that same security, that same deep confidence, not yet at least.
But with each period of suffering, with each mountain climbed and obstacle overcome, I inch closer toward that calm security that can only come when you know you can handle anything.
Don’t avoid suffering.
Bring in more of the kind that makes you stronger. The running, hiking, lifting, boxing, fighting.
And don’t shy away from the suffering that comes from aiming higher, from having your reach exceed your grasp.
We are both made better and wiser through suffering, while we’re made dumber and weaker with ease.
P.S. Man Brain has become ritual to me. Daily, at noon I take Man Brain. It gives me 3-4 hours of EPIC focus…
Focus I need to grow, to struggle well, to learn from whatever it is I’m trying to overcome.