Good morning everyone,
Some quick updates from this week’s blog…
- The Reason Most People are Unhappy
- What Does it Mean to Live with Purpose?
- I’m Rooting for You
- The Enemy of Execution
- The Space Between Your Ears
- This is What I Signed Up For
I was listening to a podcast this week, with David Goggins (retired Navy SEAL), describing how his life changed when he began to view every experience he encountered as training for his purpose in life. Later in the podcast, David said “Without friction, there is no growth.” I thought about how my pain and suffering has contributed to finding my purpose and even my success. The truth is, none of us would be where we are today without some form of resistance.
Pain is necessary. From a physiological standpoint, the body’s natural response to pain triggers an avoidance reflex. Sometimes, this reaction occurs before the actual awareness of the pain sensation. Recent studies have shown that athletes tend to have a higher pain tolerance. Exercise and the concept of “playing through the pain” are said to defy all theories associated with pain and can actually increase pain threshold.
My pain has always carried a message. In my younger years, pain was almost always followed by fear. My innate reaction to avoid potential pain became my reprieve and actually resulted in more pain. Finally, my perception shifted and I started to use adversity to my advantage. I truly believe this was a major turning point for me.
Pain makes us equal. I have spent my life comparing myself to others, rather than relating. I was left feeling less than or greater than and ultimately isolating myself from having any meaningful relationships.
What if we could find purpose in our pain? What if we could view our sufferings as training and conditioning instead of wallowing about our misfortunes? When we accept things, exactly as they are, there’s a sense of peace that meets us in that place. When we make the conscious choice to walk through adversity, we get the opportunity to grow and walk with purpose.
This week I found some really inspiring stories of people that used their pain to propel their purpose. I promise this week’s newsletter will add some motivation to your mundane Monday.
Elie Wiesel was not only a teacher, bestselling author, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize but he was also a Holocaust survivor. Elie was only 15 years old when he was sent to Auschwitz in 1944. Losing his father, mother, and younger sister to the brutalities of Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel experienced incomprehensible demoralization and suffering at the hands of the Nazis. This interview styled article shows the absolute grace and resilience of a man that endured unfathomable suffering and used his pain to help others. Elie wrote down his painful experiences, in hopes of helping other victims heal and went on to challenge the indifference that many parts of the world displayed after the Holocaust.
“That’s exactly it. I cannot cure everybody. I cannot help everybody. But to tell the lonely person that I am not far or different from that lonely person, that I am with him or her, that’s all I think we can do and we should do.”
I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to over-complicate everything. This article, from the Huffington Post, covers three simple suggestions on channeling pain into growth. “Explore your feelings. Look for the lesson. Resolve to change.” Drowning in suffering, it’s hard to find an end in sight. This article unravels the simplicity of making the most out of your pain, one step at a time.
“Pain is a traveling professor and it goes and knocks on everyones door. The smartest people I know are the people who say, come in and don’t leave until you have taught me what I need to know.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
If anyone understands the depravity found in the trenches of addiction, it’s me. On the contrary, I have also come to know the freedom and gratitude that can be found in overcoming addiction and living in recovery. Russell Brand has always been known for his outrageous and oftentimes politically incorrect behaviors. In fact, most of his success hinged on his train-wreck tendencies. Russell is a huge advocate for rehabilitation over decriminalization for fellow drug addicts. He has become passionate about using his own painful experiences and fame to help shed light on the disease of addiction, in hopes of helping other struggling addicts. In this article, Brand adds quaint humor to share his experience with addiction and how helping others secures his sobriety.
Video of the Week
This week’s video is all about finding purpose after the pain. “Leon Ford was shot 5 times by a police officer during a seemingly routine traffic stop. In this talk, Mr. Ford shares how working to develop an understanding of the policing system led him to compassion and also to ideas to improve the system and to educate others. At 25 years old, Leon Ford has become a community leader, social activist, motivational speaker, mentor, artist, and symbol of distinction in a very short amount of time. Despite his youth, Leon’s story encompasses more triumph than the majority may encounter within a lifetime.”
Quote of the Week
“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown”
Photo of the Week
(Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated)
This week’s photo shows Michael Jordan, in a bathroom, casually soaking his ankle sprain in a bathtub and a mini trash can. I can imagine his teammates out celebrating, painting the town, while the greatest basketball player takes time to recover. Everyone wants the fame, but very few are willing to sacrifice and endure pain.
Podcast of the Week
In the podcast for this week, Joe Rogan sits down with David Goggins to discuss life. David discusses how he fought through pain and adversity to become the resilient retired Navy SEAL and and former USAF Tactical Air Control Party member who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. David also talks about how he became an ultra-marathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete and he became the world record holder for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours. This guy is a BEAST. I literally left for the gym after 15 min into this podcast. If this podcast doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will.
I have yet to meet one successful human that has not experienced some sort of pain or resistance. Adversity has a funny way of teaching us the most valuable lessons. Through my pain I have become more compassionate, resilient, determined, empathetic, grateful, patient, and purposeful.
Pain is the common foundation upon which some of the most intimate relationships are built. When we share our pain with other people, we get the opportunity to be of service. I believe there is no better way to ease our suffering and find purpose than when we use our experiences to help others.
We all can find common ground in suffering. What set us apart…. is our ability to overcome. “Short term sacrifice, long term gain.” If we are trying to become the best version of ourselves, then self-evolution is required. Success is contingent upon our willingness to grow and use our pain to propel our purpose. Pain has the ability to teach, we must first, be willing to listen.