Everyone wants to feel good. Everyone wants to live a life that is carefree, happy, and easy. To fall in love and have an amazing relationship, to look perfect and make money.
Everyone would like that- it’s easy to want that.
What do you want out of your life? You’d probably say to be happy and have great family and friends and a job I like. It’s obvious that it doesn’t mean a thing.
The most interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.
Everyone wants to have an amazing job and financial independence- but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, tons of paperwork. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without delayed gratification necessary to accumulate death.
Everyone wants to have an awesome relationship but not everyone is willing to go through tough conversations, the awkward silence, the hurt feelings, and the emotional drama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder, What If? For years and years until the question is was that it?
Happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come back into your life.
A positive experience is easy to handle. It’s the negative experiences that we all struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re will g and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.
People want to have a great body. But don’t end up with one unless you appreciate the pain the physical stress that comes along with it. Including enjoy being at the gym for hours, calculated calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out of small plate-sized portions.
People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But, you don’t end up a successful business owner unless you find away to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures and working insane hours no idea whether you will be successful or not.
People want a partner. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.
What determines your success isn’t what you want to enjoy? The question is what pain do you want to sustain? The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experienced. To get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.
If you want the benefits of something in your life, you have to also want what it costs. If you want a beach body, to have to want so sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pains. If you want a yacht you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moved and the possibility of angering a person or ten thousand.
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come close to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.
How do you want to suffer? You have to choose something. You can’t have a pain free life. It can’t be all rainbows and roses.