Is pain truly a good thing?

Aren’t we constantly running away from it?

Who in their right mind would run towards pain???

I was helping the local cross country teams this weekend and was running around trying to get to different spots on the course to cheer them on and help motivate them throughout their 5k race (3.1 Miles). Needless to say I was a sweaty mess by the time the races were done.

Often times I have an idea of what I’ll say to them; however, sometimes my inner “athlete” will kick in with things I used to tell myself when I competed in high school and college. As one of our runners ran by I yelled, “Pain is good! Embrace it! Endure it! Pain is good!” After I said it I felt like a bit of a psycho; however, it got me thinking about the good things pain brings.

The Huffington Post talks about how “protective” pain is good. This type of pain is simply to keep us from hurting ourselves. I will not argue the importance of our protective pain. It is literally life saving.

However, the amount of personal growth we make throughout our lives is a direct reflection of how much pain we can overcome physically, mentally and emotionally. I believe the “emotional” and “mental” pain we experience is just as important. For example, when you know you are going to experience physical pain it is not nearly as painful if you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. As we grow up many of our pains become more and more emotional and mental. Life becomes an obstacle course of pain (family pain, friendship pain, parenting pain, career pain, etc.). It is a constant stress for all of us.

My challenge for you my fellow leaders is to tap into your emotional and mental pain and change your mindset towards it. Pain is not bad. It is necessary and constant. Embracing pain will help us endure it. Remind yourself of all the painful moments in life that built your character and core values. How that pain has now given you the strength to get through increasingly difficult times that life brings.

Life is a marathon of pain. Embrace it and overcome it.

It is a wonderful life my friends.

Enjoy your day!

— James Schleicher