The Hero Journey

The Pain Perspective (Life Lessons from Books)

The goal of reading books should be to find ideas, wisdom and directions for growth. This article present an example of such wisdom that can guide our path. The articles are curated from Ray Dalio’s book Principles

  1. The Purpose of Pain:

While we don’t like pain, everything that nature made has a purpose, so nature gave us pain for a purpose. So, what is its purpose? It alerts us and helps direct us.

…to gain strength one has to push one’s limits, which is painful. Yet most people instinctively avoid pain.

2. Pain + Reflection = Progress.

There is no avoiding pain, especially if you’re going after ambitious goals. It is a signal that you need to find solutions so you can progress.

If you can develop a reflexive reaction to psychic pain that causes you to reflect on it rather than avoid it, it will lead to your rapid learning/evolving.

Most people have a tough time reflecting when they are in pain and they pay attention to other things when the pain passes, so they miss out on the reflections that provide the lessons.

If you can reflect well while you’re in pain, great. But if you can remember to reflect after it passes, that’s valuable too.

The challenges you face will test and strengthen you. If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential.

If you choose to push through this often-painful process of personal evolution, you will naturally “ascend” to higher and higher levels.

3. Go to the pain rather than avoid it.

If you don’t let up on yourself and instead become comfortable always operating with some level of pain, you will evolve at a faster pace.

Every time you confront something painful, you are at a potentially important juncture in your life—you have the opportunity to choose healthy and painful truth or unhealthy but comfortable delusion.

The irony is that if you choose the healthy route, the pain will soon turn into pleasure.

4. Developing the habit of embracing the pain and learning from it will:

  1. Help you in identifying, accepting, and learning how to deal with your weaknesses
  2. Preferring that the people around you be honest with you rather than keep their negative thoughts about you to themselves, and
  3. Being yourself rather than having to pretend to be strong where you are weak.

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