What’s your favorite pain?
What do you want in life?
I want to be rich!
What are you doing right now that’ll get you some money? (read: should you just be yourself?)
Well, nothing right now, but I think I have the talents and intelligence to make something of myself…
You hear that line of thinking all the time…
The truth is, what we want is more reflected in what we’re willing to suffer for. (read: 15 steps to becoming a better man)
To become rich you have to have discipline, a hard work ethic, and the ability to sacrifice current peace, pleasure, and happiness for an end that isn’t even guaranteed.
Being rich is what most people say they want but they’re not willing to do the things – the reading, studying, learning, hustling, networking, working, and so on – that will get them that “desired end.”
The question that should be asked, and asked by ourselves as often as possible, is what struggle do you want? What pain do you want?
When you want the pain, the struggle that an end requires, when you’re so in love with the process, even the pain and uncertainty in the process, that you would essentially do it without the guaranteed reward, then that’s what you want.
If you want to build a business, you’ll have to get used to risk, tightening the belt financially, hearing a lot of ‘no’s’, constant and consistent failure, ups and downs, highs and lows, and you’ll have to want it more than certainty.
If you want a better body you’ll have to also want to eat better, in the right amounts, and the right foods, regardless of taste and your current appetite. You’ll also have to want the pain of training, of days where it’ll be tough to walk because leg day was especially tough.
If you want adventure, well, you’ll also have to want uncertainty and solitude. You’ll need to fall in love with danger, real danger, the kind that can bring premature death. (read: the power of negative thinking)
What Pain Do You Want?
What are you willing to suffer to get and what suffering do you kind of sadistically enjoy?
Think about it. Spend some good time thinking about it.
If you’re not willing to suffer for something, then you don’t want it. That’s fine.
Find something you do want to suffer for.
At the same time I’m trying to figure out the answer myself.
I like suffering, or I’ve at times liked suffering.
I like the physical suffering, the high it gives you, the toughening that happens to you. That’s always been something I’ve loved.
Beyond that, the end has been something I’ve focused on way too much, the success, the thing that success gets you.
The point of focusing on the suffering that you like or accept or – even better – find challenging and exciting, is to focus on the process, because it’s all about the process.
The process is where we find meaning and happiness and purpose, the things we really want in life, the things that an end can’t get us.
In work, I love the struggle of overcoming a challenge, the excitement of potential. That idea of potential has to exist, it’s the dream of what can be created not necessarily the reward for the creation.
I love the struggle of a hunt, the struggle of a hike.
You may love the struggle of a relationship if it’s the right woman, but hate the struggle of a relationship if it’s the wrong woman, just like you may love the struggle of one career, one business, but hate it for another.
For a period of a few months before I started Man Nutra, I wasn’t loving the struggle of the work I was doing because I didn’t see where it was heading.
I was writing, teaching, learning, but it didn’t feel like I was building anything besides a personal brand, and I know people love personal brands these days, but it’s too selfish in my mind. It’s too much about me, the individual, and less about a product or service that aids and helps.
Thus, I was working and struggling but not finding the meaning and the purpose I craved in that struggle.
In that sense, however, sometimes you have to struggle to find the struggle you love.
You have to try and tinker and try again to find the idea that puts wind under your sails.
Thus, the struggle doesn’t really ever stop. (read: post traumatic GROWTH syndrome)
We struggle to learn, to grow, to evolve and to improve.
We struggle to succeed, to come back from failure, to become just a little bit better every day so that we’re a little more worthy of what we’re aiming at.
While you’re struggling, then, keep your mind open for the struggle you want just a little bit more.
Get after it.