Harness Pain to Grow, Perform and Achieve

Harness Pain to Grow, Perform and Achieve

michael j. foxMy situation is a gift, a gift wrapped in pain, but a gift nonetheless. ~ Michael J. Fox

Life brings lessons; and the biggest and best lessons are those wrapped in pain. Pain is not a signal to suffer, it’s a signal to grow.

Now I know this is not a popular idea, but it’s true regardless. The primary reason we make positive and powerful change is pain. More specifically, when we’ve experienced enough pain so that we get to “enough already.”

The hard reality is that you probably won’t do whatever it takes
until you get to “enough already.”lion

I was coaching an entrepreneur in the past whose business is currently doing $1.3M per year. He told me he wanted to take it to $2M in the next year and asked for my help.

One of the things I know from my experience building a $10M business is that at every critical fulcrum of growth significant changes must be made.

In many if not most cases, nothing fails today
like the success of yesterday.

woman thinking deeply

I told him exactly what must be done and his response was, “Well James, I know this is going to happen regardless. Let me get back to you.”


He’s too comfortable and unwilling to get uncomfortable. While I appreciate optimism it has to be harmonized with a healthy dose of realism.

There’s a big difference between wishing for something
and being prepared to receive it.
~ Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill

He’ll most likely not make a powerful and positive change until he gets enough pain. He’s not hurting right now. He’s comfortable.

Wait until one of his key employees dies or quits, until one of his major clients or suppliers bail, that’s when stuff will hit the fan.

You see, we often say we want things in our lives but few are willing and ready to pay the price.

Most say they want bigger things in their life and business
but very few are willing to pay the price necessary for their prize. 

man tying his shoelaces

There are basically two internal drivers that motivate us to action. Quite simply either pain or pleasure. If you remember your Freud from college, this will sound very familiar.

The unfortunate truth is that most will do way more to avoid pain than they will ever do to gain pleasure. This is unfortunate because pain just plain hurts!

Like it or not, pain is the mother of all growth. Try to get your
most fit body ever with no pain. Metaphor here? Such is life.

woman doing planking

Pain is the mother of all growth (like it or not); and when we experience it, it’s not a signal to suffer but a psychological or physiological signal to rid ourselves of something that no longer serves.

Harness Pain

Pain is a signal to let go of some often self-imposed idea, ignorance, or weakness that it’s past time to move beyond.

Pain is not a signal to suffer… it’s a signal to grow!

boy crying rubbing his eyes

Experience proves that most will not invest in themselves for growth alone.

Some will.

Most won’t.

I was coaching another woman in her 50’s. She told me how she needed to get her “mojo” back and make more money. Her solution? Get a new hairstyle and a new pair of shoes.

Do you want more money?
Money tip #1: stop the frivolous spending.
Invest in your own development, advancement, and growth.

man holding out bills of money

Warren Buffet knows a thing or three about money as well as investing; and when asked what the number one investment anyone can make he quickly answered, “Their own education.”

Good council.

Think not that all wisdom resides in your schools.
~ Ancient Huna Axiom

silhouette of child reading under a tree

The vast majority will spend on impulse for something that makes them feel good at the moment but is slow, often resistant, to invest in the thing that will make them feel fulfilled for a lifetime.

Many will spend money on what makes them feel good at the moment.
But few are willing to invest in what will make them feel fulfilled for a lifetime.

woman doing shopping

While there is some research to suggest that the way you look has a powerful impact on how you feel, there’s just as much research to prove that even those who go to the extremes of surgery or similar don’t fundamentally change their self-image.

Putting a tuxedo on a pig does not make it a swan.

There has to be an internal shift before the external will follow.

Your psychology always drives your strategy.

woman silhouette thinking with yellow background

Until this internal shift is made, there will be a pain. The pain that consistently signals you to grow.

Make no mistake, this shift takes much more than just study. There’s a big difference between study and change. True growth is hard. That’s why most don’t do it.

Make no mistake, there’s a huge difference between study and change.
True growth is hard. That’s why most don’t do it.

Silhouette of man reading a book in a library

You see my $1.3M client mentioned previously was still in his comfort zone. While you may think $1.3M is a large zone to be in, he’s been there for a while. It’s time to get uncomfortable once again and grow. Very few people will move willingly into discomfort.

They’ll buy a new car, house, or a new piece of jewelry in a feeble attempt to bring meaning and fulfillment. But you know as well as I do that these attempts fall flat.

The purpose of life is growth, and growth is hard. Growth most often brings pain.

Until he shifts his internal game his external results will stall and/or halt altogether. Please read that again. The same is true for you.

His behavior has gotten him to a point, but it will not take him where he wants and needs to go.

In many if not most cases, nothing fails today like the successes of yesterday.
Get a new approach. Change your psychology and strategy.

I work with individuals, and I work with businesses. The principles of transformation and growth are cross-contextual.

Once again, growth is hard. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you the collective fantasy Kool-Aide.

I recall a time, just a few short years ago, when I sat with my financial advisor and we both smiled as I realized that I could retire right that very moment and live a very comfortable life for the rest of my days.

Of course, I didn’t want to retire. Some may say that given my last few years of utter Tsunami I should have. But that was not in the cards for me.

When you have a sense of purpose burning deep within, it compels you forward, and it’s not about resting on your laurels.

When you have clarity of purpose you don’t quit.
Even though it sometimes may seem easier to do so.
You know that it’s not easier—not really.

man resting while sweating while working out

Little did I know there would soon be no laurels upon which to rest.

Coming out of prison with three corporations that hadn’t been touched in four years, the IRS breathing down my neck, life savings, and home is gone, it’s been quite an adventure, to say the least.

But life is meant to be a glorious adventure, not some little comfortable kiddie ride. Please.

I know pain.

And I know growth!

Do you?

Lose the fear. Be willing to suffer for your mastery.
Nothing great ever came easy. If it’s easy, it’s not great.

feets trying to step on a bridge

You see, if success, wealth, fulfillment, greatness, and mastery were easy… everyone would be world-class!

There’s a reason why relatively few bring their true greatness to the world.

Be honest… has there ever been a time in your life when there wasn’t some challenge or difficulty? When something either small or large wasn’t messy?

If you’re honest you know the answer is a resounding “no.”

Life is like a gym and the more weights you push, and the more reps you do,
the stronger you become. Let no one fool you or sell you otherwise. 

James arthur ray working out

When I was a competitive bodybuilder in my twenties there were times we would literally squat until we threw up. The high-fives of young males with way too much testosterone may seem radical, even ridiculous, in maturity.

But there’s a principle here that I learned in those early years that has served me immensely.

Embrace the pain.

Harness the pain to grow.

It doesn’t mean you like it or that it’s fun—it’s not. But you know that it’s taking you to greater strength, growth, and accomplishment.

Therefore you love the pain for the greatness and growth it brings out in you.

If you’re committed to growth then you will naturally seek out “mistakes.” Learn more about it here.

He who sweats more in training bleeds less in war.
~ Spartan Warrior Creed

james arthur ray

So ask yourself:

What are you committed to in your life and business?

A little food, a little entertainment, and a little comfort?

Or becoming a champion for a lifetime?

Game time.

Be a Leader. Live Your Purpose, and Take Your Power Back!




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