In one of my previous articles called WHY HAVING A GOAL MAKES THE DIFFERENCE, I stressed the importance of setting GOALS.
By setting a GOAL YOU become AWARE of where YOU are and where YOU want to go.
If having a destination to reach is pivotal to your success, PAIN is even more important than that.
YOU can plan everything in detail, but YOU never know what YOU will encounter on your way.
There will be times when anything that can go wrong will occur.
Life is going to hurt YOU, there will be times when YOU will feel defeated, times when YOU will be alone, and when YOU will be able to count only on yourself.
The sooner YOU become AWARE that PAIN is part of your JOURNEY towards your SUCCESS, the sooner YOU will learn to ACCEPT IT as part of your EVOLUTION.
The sooner YOU ACCEPT IT, the sooner YOU will start looking at PAIN from a completely different perspective.
Most people give up their GOALS because they hate PAIN, they think of it as the worst ever enemy they may encounter.
I also used to think like that till I hit rock bottom in my life.
There was a time when I was surviving and when life was unmeaningful for me.
I was trapped by many different phobias that made my life look like slavery.
For years I ran away from them, from the PAIN that my irrational fears made me experience any time I was exposed to them.
When I chose to face my phobias, I started tackling them and it hurt a lot.
I remember that the PAIN coming from the exposition to my fears was so high that I was tempted to surrender.
But my determination to start living a proper life won, I went through the storm and I got out of it strengthened and empowered.
I gained self-esteem, courage, and faith to pursue my DREAMS no matter how strong life could knock me back.
I understood that PAIN is only TEMPORARY and what YOU GET after going through IT IS WORTH 100 TIMES the suffering.
Challenges in life MUST be seen as an opportunity to get stronger, to become more self-assured.
YOU can either let PAIN destroy your life or build a NEW life upon it, which is what I chose to do.
YOU can come out bitter or YOU can come out better, YOU can come out defeated and give up on your DREAMS or YOU can come out with renewed strength.
YOU can allow PAIN to hold YOU back or YOU can tell yourself:
“I am not going to let that happen to me, I am going to do whatever it takes to overcome the PAIN, and I am going to be a WINNER”.
YOU MUST make a declaration to yourself that no matter what comes your way, YOU will be prepared to ACCEPT the CHALLENGE, the PAIN, and grow through it.
YOU need to understand that it is NECESSARY that YOU STRUGGLE, SUFFER, and SACRIFICE yourself to achieve SUCCESS.
In the process of working on your DREAMS, YOU are CERTAINLY going to incur a lot of KNOCKBACKS, a lot of DISAPPOINTMENT, a lot of FAILURES, a lot of DEFEATS, a lot of PAIN.
But in the process of doing that YOU will discover some things about yourself that YOU didn’t know.
What YOU will realize is that YOU are better than YOU have ever thought.
YOU will become AWARE of all the GIFTS that GOD, the UNIVERSE, or whatever YOU believe in have given to YOU.
YOU will realize that YOU are stronger than all challenges that show up on your way.
YOU will realize how powerful YOU are.
Most people that are successful today had to go through HELL to get what they have got and to be who they are NOW.
Think of sports champions for instance.
How many hours of extreme training have they had to undergo?
How much sweat have they sweated to get where they are?
Most people wrongly believe that a successful person has achieved success thanks to a fluke.
They think success has just happened to them.
They can only see the surface, what successful people look like NOW, they don’t see deeper, that is what becoming who they are have cost them.
I want to stress once more, YOU MUST be willing to WORK HARD, YOU MUST be willing to GO THE EXTRA MILE, to GO THROUGH PAIN if YOU want to achieve something in life.
YOU may not understand the CHALLENGES and the PAIN YOU are dealing with.
They don’t make sense to YOU, that is because YOU cannot see the whole picture.
It is exactly what YOU think when YOU look at a single piece of a puzzle and tell yourself:
“look at this bizarre-looking piece, it must be a mistake, it doesn’t make sense.
It’s not going to fit anywhere, it’s an odd shape, there’s nothing valuable and interesting about it”.
But when YOU manage to assemble all the pieces YOU realize how beautiful the image is.
And YOU become AWARE that each piece has its own PURPOSE.
Likewise, when something happens to YOU, e.g. YOU lose your job, YOU go through a divorce, YOU fall ill, YOU experience the loss of a beloved one, YOU are not able to figure out the meaning of it and the opportunities it can open up for YOU.
Only in hindsight will YOU be able to.
One of the most successful people in the world during his Commencement speech at Stanford in 2005 said:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life”. - Steve Jobs
I experienced this firsthand.
Little did I know that having a horrible relationship with my dad would lead me to leave my country for Oxford.
Little did I know that facing all the struggles and pain of being in a foreign country, would enable me to embrace the opportunity to start my own business and follow my dream.
I had to face the language and cultural barrier, I had to adapt to a completely different environment, I had to work flat out and study at the same time.
Little did I know that being away from home would also allow me and my dad to make peace and share beautiful moments.
If YOU haven’t connected the dots of your life yet try and do it now, YOU will be surprised.
YOU will realize that there is a silver lining to PAIN, so YOU MUST be prepared to stand it to arrive at a better stage in your life.
This is what YOU can learn from a popular Indian legend.
The Legend Of The Eagle’s Flight
According to this tale, an eagle can live up to 70 years old.
But, to be able to reach that age, at about 40 years old, it has to make a difficult decision.
At the age of 40, its claws are long and flexible, and can no longer catch the preys on which it feeds.
Its beak, long and sharp, bends.
The wings, aged and made heavy by the feathers that have grown, point against the chest.
Flying is a big CHALLENGE.
The eagle has only two alternatives:
- to let itself DIE,
- to face a PAINFUL process of RENEWAL, which takes 150 days.
The second option means flying to the top of a mountain to an inaccessible nest, against the rock, a place from which it will safely fly back.
Once in the new nest, the eagle will begin to hit the beak onto the rock until it falls, bravely facing the ensuing PAIN.
After a few weeks, a new beak will stem out.
With it, the eagle will tear away from its old claws heedless of the PAIN.
When its new claws grow, it will tear away one by one all the remaining feathers using the new claws and beak.
When its new feathers grow it will safely take flight and start a new life for the next 30 years.
There are times in life when YOU are called to take important decisions.
Choices that imply a big change which brings about CHALLENGES that YOU have never gone through before.
This process is FRIGHTENING and PAINFUL and can last a long time.
But only by facing these CHALLENGES and by experiencing PAIN will YOU be able, like the eagle, to take flight and start anew.
The beauty of life is that YOU can always choose, YOU are responsible for your destiny.
YOU can either behave like a victim and blame your misfortunes on someone else or some external circumstances or YOU can be the leading character in your life.
What are YOU going to do?
Are YOU going to run away from PAIN and therefore GIVE UP or are you going to accept it as a prerequisite to your SUCCESS?