The Gift of Pain

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

The earth continuously spins at a lazy one thousand miles per hour. Roughly every 24 hours, it completes its race and begins a new – the ultimate example that shows steady and slow wins the race.

Is it because of death we feel compelled to hurry up and get things over with? Life is short for each of us. Time ticks on, whether we are working on our dreams or not. Perhaps our patience is at its thinnest when we faced with pain, dislike and fear.

I don’t know a single person who enjoys spending time in wall to wall traffic. But there’s also those of us who, when faced with an uncomfortable reality, want nothing more than to move past it. Like swatting flies out of our food, we want nothing more than to get rid of our circumstances and setbacks.

“Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.”

Aristotle

It depends on how you look at it, but setbacks and pain can be gifts if you let it. As sucky as they are, our circumstances are teaching us hidden lessons on how to live better if we let them. Nobody wants to be in debt up to their noses. Nobody wants to feel the pain of a heartbreak or the ache of an injury. Depression, anxiety, negativity, bitterness, backstabbing, fear, and discouragement aren’t exactly a fun party to be in.

I’d hate to say that setbacks and pain are trying to teach us something important, but maybe they are trying to teach us something important.

Pain, failure and bad circumstances raise our awareness and show us how to live better than we were previously. They stop us, so that we can slow down, think more wisely and go after a life of meaning.

We might have to dig ourselves out of a hole now, but when (not if, when) we finally crawl over the top, we have a new and better way to live and a story to tell.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #648

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The Only Way Out is Through

I am no stranger to pain.

I️ injured my neck a few years ago. (Injury is a small word)
I’ve dealt with burnout,  toxins, and chronic fatigue.
Gut problems, financial problems, friend problems…

(Pssst. I️ am writing long-form articles on each of these and how to overcome them and any other setback you might face too)

Here’s some clarity I’ve learned from pain.

We get into setbacks when we don’t see them coming or up our own boobs to change our approach.

When you’re bullhead, naive or complacent about the choices you make, you try to change the world around your stance. Being hard doesn’t mean having strength, it means you’re fragile. Like a log placed on a fire, when things get hot you crumble into ash.

Wallowing will get you nowhere.
Giving in too easily will get you nowhere.
Wishing for a different outcome will get you nowhere.

The only way out is through.

Bruce Lee once said, “All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns”.

We must bend ourselves around the problems to find solutions. Forward motion. Don’t reject the pain, frustration, and fear. Let yourself feel I­t­. Give I­t­ edges you can grasp onto. Anytime I️ revert back to numbing myself off from the pain, I’m forgoing the ability to adapt to I­t­. Fixed Mindset. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” But when I️ feel the pain and give I­t­ the time of day, my mind and body give me solutions to find a way through. Pliable Mindset.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”Bruce Lee

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”Albert Einstein

I’m Taking a Learning Vacation — You Should Too

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”  — Walt Disney

Jan 18th

I could feel the stress flowing down my back,

like a waterfall too powerful to sit under without breaking you eventually.

I was zapped, emotionally and physically. And doing my damnedest to not tear up because of my current set of obstacles. 

There’s was a physical heaviness weighing down my mind. Pessimistic thoughts were attacking me at all angles. It took all of my effort to not let the negative thoughts take control of the driver’s seat, but their barrage was paralyzing me. When things get bad, my mind cops by going numbI refuse to let it.

The difficultly of finding new clients and work, plus the lack of physical energy to do so and the pain of an old injury was doing a number on me. A one, two, three knockout of setbacks that were feeding each other.

I didn’t want ‘tired, broke, and empty’ to be the title of my autobiography.

Something has to change!, I screamed within.


Jan 19th

My mind is more clear than it’s been for months.

I’m not making enough, but that shouldn’t stop me from creating and pursuing what’s important to me.

I’m still tired, but I feel good.

My neck hurts, but I can help it by moving more.

Why the sudden change? What gives Josh?!

 

I’ve decided to focus on the possibilities and benefits of my setbacks, instead of dwelling on the downsides.

I’ve decided to choose health first.

I’ve decided to take a learning vacation.

And I’ve the liberty of taking a vacation from myself. I’m free.

I’ve let myself out of the cage that I helped build.

Because believe it or not, I was holding the key.

Just as you might be with your own cage.

Often times, the only thing holding you back from opportunity is yourself.

We get in our own way.

Q: How are you holding yourself back?

FEAR of Failure? ha no problem. I’m on vacation, you can’t scare me.

Feeling Stressed? not anymore. Vacation baby!

Feeling Stuck? you’ve got plenty of time to unstuck yourself now!

 

Okay okay, sure — I’m basically tricking myself — I’m still working. Still looking for clients. Still connecting, writing, design and a bucket-load of other things.

But my mindset has completely changed.

I’m looking up instead of looking down.

I’m not looking at the problems, I’m looking around them.

The only thing that’s changed is my perspective.

I’m still doing the work. I’m not slothing around. I’m not just doing whatever the wind tells me. But there’s a massive difference in my mindset.

Now that I’m out of my own way, I can do what I do, but better and more effectively.

 

My Learning Vacation Itinerary

  • Hone my design & developer skills.
  • Mastery the Art of the Interviewing for my podcasts.
  • Redesign renaissancemanlife.com      (Jan 28th: check!)
  • Start a Mastermind circle organization: Avants.
  • Learn about money, selling, online business
  • Find new clients, and have fun doing it.
  • Connect with interesting people in my city (Chattanooga) and online. Be a part of something bigger

 

Set sail on the S. S. Learning Vacation. Are you on board?

Tell me what you think in the comments below

related wisdom

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, its dancing in the rain.

— Vivian Greene

You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.

— Michelle Obama

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You Are Not Alone

You are not alone + 

We all experience pain and frustration some point in our lives.

This is because we are living.

Injury, heartache, stress, overwhelm, pain, loss, fear, panic, failure…

 

I know I have. (In fact this year might be some of my greatest trials yet.)

I know the people around me have.

Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your experiences.

(have heart for others in misery and

comfort in the collectiveness of being human.)

It may feel like you’re alone sometimes, but someone is going through what you’re going through right now. Or someone has experienced what you’ve experienced.

Sure, it’s different, because we are all different, but its similar.

Suffer Well, for you are not alone+

Remind yourself that when you are in the thick of it.

Allow it to ease your mind.

Life is in the act of each moment.

Live well —

You are not alone.

#KeepPursuing,

Josh Waggoner

 

related:

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” — Bruce Lee

 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” — Jesus, Matthew 6:35

 

“We read to know we are not alone.” ― C.S. Lewis

Introducing Antidotes — Cures For The Everyday Strive

Like mine,

Your story is unique — 

but we all face similar hardships in life.

Our story is our own — but life is universal.

 

Pain, frustration, fears, dreams, hopes,

desires, failures, a search for meaning and purpose,

conflict, despair, overwhelm, barriers, loss, choices,

joy, misfortune, depression, happiness, injury, challenge,

obstacles, trials, triumphs..

 

Antidotes, is a new series from the Renaissance Life,

focusing on cures for the everyday strive we all face.

The goal is to forge ancient virtues in our life, specifically resilience —

so that we may fight for what we believe, and have an extraordinary life.

To not only withstand hardships, but to thrive in them — and ultimately,

turn them into victories.

#KeepPursing,

Josh Waggoner