What pain do you want in your life?

What a weird question to ask right?  Like who wants pain in their life?  I’m sure you would initially say ‘None’ or ‘Very little’ — but what if I told you the pain is what makes it all work?

As the author of this article – Mark Manson – puts it:  “our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.”  Mark points out simply that what you really want, you’re willing to struggle – endure the pain – to receive.  He tells the story of growing up fantasizing about becoming a rock star guitarist; this was his dream from childhood to college.  And it never happened.  Not because he lacked self-confidence, not because he gave up on his dream and not because the “cards were stacked against him.”  In the end, he realized he just didn’t want it bad enough.

He says, “I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.”

I found this article interesting because I’m pretty sure most of us can relate.  At one time or another — or maybe at this very moment — we think we want something badly enough that we will do the things we dislike to achieve our goals.  But is that really so?

I used to want a big career with a fancy title and a big salary; until I realized that meant not having much of a life outside of work and a career that was less than emotionally and spirituality fulfilling.  So I quickly abandoned that idea and went on the hunt for a career that felt more aligned to my core beliefs (enter: Health Coaching!).

When I decided to make Health Coaching my career I knew it would mean lots of hard work (juggling clients, multiple school programs at the same time, a full time job, a full time relationship, family, friends), lots of pushing myself beyond what felt comfortable or easy (work-shops, marketing, speaking to strangers about what I do) and yet I knew instinctively I would do whatever was needed to make my practice a success.  I would endure the possibility of embarrassment, the feelings of uneasiness, the failures and false-starts that come with creating something out of nothing.  And I have…and I will continue to do so — willingly!

What I love about getting clear about what you want for yourself in life is that once the clarity is there, most of us will endure the pain to get what we want. When my clients come to me to start working on their health goals, some part of them is ready to endure some “pain” to achieve what they say they want (and by pain I mean things like cutting back or giving up sugar and dairy or swapping water for soda or fruit juices).  The clients that are the most successful are the ones that endure the most “pain” — that make their health a priority and do not fall victim to the “excuses” why this or that couldn’t happen.

I leave you with these final thoughts:  What pain do you want in your life?  What are you willing to struggle for and why?  Share your thoughts or feelings with me in the comments section below or send me an email directly.  I’d love to know what you’re thinking!

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