The missing ingredient: the 1 thing our culture needs more of to enable success (hint: it's not what you think)
Today I want to share with you the missing ingredient that if utilized more frequently and appropriately, would facilitate and enable a greater number of people to achieve success than are currently doing so. This ingredient is a simple one, but extremely potent. It is an ancient ingredient and is always utilized by a warrior or a warrior trainer. Too much of this ingredient is fatal, but if this ingredient is not present at all, that is also fatal. Fatal to character, fatal to proper development, and fatal to the proper forging of the warrior spirit which is necessary to survive and carry on through struggles. The name of this ancient ingredient is pain.
Pain in the appropriate and well rationed amounts, is absolutely essential to forging a warrior. Can you imagine training to fight but never fighting? Training to fight but never being hit or impacted in any way? Look at this way: can a football player properly prepare for the season if he were never to receive and give impact? "Let's just do calisthenics coach. We don't need to actually practice tackling or being tackled." This player would be scorned by the coach. And rightly so. "How do you expect to be ready if you don't ever get tackled or tackle someone son?" Exactly. The football player must feel the impact, feel the pain.
The pain I am referring to is not one of debilitating injury. It is the pain appropriate to one's task. A football player must be tackled and tackle others. A soldier must be hit, feel some pain, in order to simulate combat. Modern day soldiers are often shot with rubber bullets, airsoft BB's and other devices to deliver some pain so that engaging in a shooting conflict is more realistic. Shooting down range is not enough. You must shoot down range while being shot at. And since the military isn't fond of killing it's own troops, they cannot return fire with real cartridges, so they opt down the pain level to deliver an appropriate dose: BB's, rubber rounds, etc.
Your life is no different. You must feel an appropriate amount of pain in order to facilitate success. If you are too pampered and are never made to struggle (feel the pain) how will you persevere when things get tough? You won't. You will give up. You will surrender; and life is merciless. If you surrender to life, it will do with you as it will with complete and utter disregard for you, your feelings, your desires and your happiness. A warrior knows this. This is why the warrior trains. This is why the warrior embraces pain, not injury. People who train to be injured are (in Warrior Speaker's opinion) foolish. But people who train to avoid all pain are missing the point. In a real fight, you will get hit. You will trip and fall (or be thrown down). You will get scraped, you will get bruised. If weapons are involved, you will get hit, cut, shot with them.Therefore, you must be able to experience pain and continue. You must be able to feel pain and persevere because if you surrender, your enemy (and life) are merciless.
Warrior Speaker sees very many people in relationships today act as if they should never feel pain in a relationship. This is incorrect. Real love will hurt. Real love requires sacrifices to be made (i.e.: you feel a certain pain to achieve a goal, the happiness of another). Having pain in a relationship does not mean you should pitch the relationship, it could very well be the forge that you must go through to come out stronger on the other end.
I know this was true in my case. I went through a relationship that was extremely detrimental to my spiritual, emotional and physical health 6 years ago. It was very painful, many mistakes were made, and it ultimately resulted in a break-up that hurt me deeply. However, had I not gone through that forge, I never would have known what things NOT TO DO in a relationship. Having that experience (pain) in my past, I am succeeding immensely at my current relationship because I know what not to do. The teacher was pain. Had I not experienced the pain of loss, the pain of being vulnerable and being hurt, I would never have valued what I have now nearly as much. Was pain comfortable at the time? Of course not. But was it necessary? Yes. I am now in a mature, reciprocal relationship where we both openly communicate our likes, dislikes, grudges aren't held, and we both cater to the other's love languages. It is wonderful. But I only know how to do that because I have the previous experience of pain.
NOTE: I am NOT SAYING that people in abusive relationships should remain there. That is the exact opposite of what I am saying. Abusive relationships are causing injury (and can cause death) not simply pain. Injury is to be avoided. If you are in an abusive relationship, I implore you to seek help. This is the topic for another blog, but I wanted to to be very clear on what I was and was not saying. Pain does not equal abuse. The two are very different. Pain can help you grow, pain can help you learn. Abuse is criminal and is not to be tolerated.
In closing, what this generation needs is a dose of pain. They need to be made uncomfortable. We are doing them no favors by coddling them. Why? Because life will not coddle them. The world will not coddle them. Other people may or may not coddle them. Give them appropriate pain now, to avoid disaster in the future. As the picture quote stated at the beginning of the blog: "Pain is the best teacher but nobody wants to be his student." No pain is comfortable at the time. That is precisely the point. Life will not always be comfortable. Only those who can handle and deal with a little pain will be successful. Your relationships will cause you pain. Your job will cause you pain. Pursuing your dream will cause you pain. Standing up for what you believe in will cause you pain. It is unavoidable. And since the warrior knows that it is impossible to avoid all pain, the warrior trains to endure pain; to be able to follow through and carry on in spite of pain. They refuse to surrender to life and pain. Because here is the real secret: If you surrender, you will still feel pain; except now, the pain will be dealt on life's terms, not yours. If you are going to feel pain, it may as well be on your terms. If you must feel pain, feel pain that will be instructional and serve to help you learn a lesson that you can use to further your dream and arrive at the success you desire.
Embrace pain. Embrace discomfort. Become comfortable with pain. Allow it teach you lessons. It will teach you many things if you are listening. Live like a warrior and use pain to your advantage as a great teacher and you will be much farther down the path to success than most people.
Keep moving forward with your front toward the enemy and ALWAYS live in the battleground.
The Warrior Speaker Blog is a collection of warrior lessons Alexander has learned in addition to practical information about protecting yourself and all that you deem most personal.