In the beginning, we all set out to climb a mountain, but when life gets in the way, we settle for what’s more “realistic”. Fact is, you have the potential to achieve anything you desire if you choose to. Let me rephrase that: commit to. We all want to be the best version of ourselves, whether that means having a six-pack, making vast amounts of money or just being happy. Unfortunately, what most people lack are the patience and the endurance to succeed in spite of pain.
It really comes down to two word: pain tolerance. However, pain is a very subjective thing. Ask any woman about the physical pain she endured during childbirth. Yet pain isn’t only defined by the feeling conveyed by sensory neurons: it’s also the perception of discomfort. We crave pleasure (outcomes), but avoid the pain. Very few rewards in life come without pain. Of course, we can model ourselves on others to avoid certain mistakes or lessen the pain but if you’re looking for the easy street to achieve your personal or professional goals, keep dreaming.
Life never gets easier, but experiences create a higher tolerance to the pain life freely gives. Your ability to thrive in the face of adversity does more than just make you stronger – it makes you a winner!
Another important point is that you assess what you want from each of your goals. It’s not the money you want, because that’s just paper: you want the perceived freedom it gives you. Do you really need a six-pack? Fully clothed, nobody would be any the wiser. What you want is the feeling of accomplishing something most people will never have. Are your goals really your own? Do you allow your dreams to be dictated by societal standards or by the way you’re judged by others?
I ask new entrepreneurs three simple questions before they start their ventures:
- “How much money do you need to earn in the next six months to make it worth your time?” (Notice I didn’t say “five years” – I want to measure their short-term expectations. I can adjust the “pain” of the next question accordingly.)
- “How much time are you willing to commit each day to achieving that goal?” (The key here is committing, regardless of how tired you are, whether the kids are sick or your other obligations.)
- “How many months are you willing to commit to this venture with zero return?” (This is the most important question. We live in a world of instant gratification, but reality dictates that things don’t come easily or quickly.)
You can ask these questions about anything you want to achieve. Personal and professional aspirations always come down to your willingness to commit to your goal. Focus on why you’re doing it and the rest falls into place. Earlier, I referenced the pain threshold of women. They never stop in the middle of childbirth and say it’s too hard. They endure it because of the bigger reward at the end. That’s difficult for most men to understand, so we’ll go with a large kidney stone instead. That visual will make most men cringe.
Remember, pain is subjective but don’t ever feel as if you’re alone in your struggle. Push through the pain, knowing that in the end you’ll be proud that you did what most people wouldn’t endure.
by Brian Parsley