“No Pain. No Gain.”

It’s funny. We all have big dreams of fame and fortune, success and happiness, and yet …the minute we’re faced with some challenge, some sort of obstacle or hindrance along the way, right off the bat, we shelve them with raised arms in surrender and give them up totally. Why? The experts have an explanation for this.

In his book “Ego Is the Enemy” Ryan Holiday writes that a primary obstacle to success is the idea of success. Your mind seduces you in a powerful way such that the idea of success becomes more satisfying than success itself, so you stop at the idea of success and never make it real.  It’s so easy to dream. There’s no pain in it. It’s so easy to tell your friends about your ambitions, create visions of success and wealth or define your goals. And that’s where most people stop. The very act of dreaming stops you from making your dreams come true. Consequently, when you attempt to do the things required towards achieving your dreams and hit a stone wall of resistance, more often than not, you immediately distract yourself from this discomfort with some kind of fleeting pleasure, creating some sort of this-won’t-hurt the comfortable situation.

Robert Green, in his book “Mastery” explains that you can learn to love this internal resistance. You find some sort of perverse enjoyment in transcending the pain you might encounter in pursuit of achieving your dreams. In truth, the author contends that the discomfort or even pain that usually come with personal growth and success should be embraced. They are an affirmation that you are proactively putting yourself through a transformative process.

Another theoretical idea that explains why we easily give up on our dreams is the 40% principle. This essentially is the threshold number when people feel they’re all maxed out mentally and physically and therefore stop when they are at only forty percent (40%) of their capacity and potential. Going beyond 40% of this capacity is when things get to be rough, get to be uncomfortable, or when pain is likely to set in. It’s at this juncture when just about everyone rushes to put his/her dreams in the back burner. For the few rare individuals who thrive and succeed, this is a definite NO-NO! When they do things, they never stop until it’s complete.

So, how do I get out of this rut? Two inspirational thoughts:

A life that doesn’t include hard-won accomplishment and triumphs over obstacles may not be a satisfying one. There is something deeply fulfilling, even thrilling in doing almost anything difficult extremely well.

And from the great Mohammed Ali…  he reportedly lived by this… “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up”.

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