Follow Your Pain

in life •  8 months ago

Or Why Follow Your Dream is Bad Advice


You see it and hear it all the time. It’s written everywhere. On coffee mugs, t-shirts, TV ads, sports stores, bank flyers, banners, buildings, cars, airplanes. You’re harassed with it every passing moment. Soon enough it might as well be written on the moon itself.

There are too many books on this subject and too many people who make this seem like something adventurous, straightforward and one hundred percent enjoyable.

follow your pain.jpg

Follow your dream.

It’s alluring. It sounds as simple as getting in the plane and doing it as if you were already there. Going on the adventure of your lifetime. Quitting your job and becoming that extraordinary rich businessman by working three days a month, partying on the rooftops of the tallest buildings of the world and flying around in your own private jet. Or hitchhiking around the globe with only twenty dollars in your pocket as if it was as comfortable as an all-inclusive.

Yeah, go on. Follow your dream.

What few will tell you is that the more you delve into this dream of yours, the more it transforms into pain. Most won’t tell you about the innumerable people who tried and failed. They won’t tell you about the people who had the inner strength to get through all the pain, reach their goal and then stop. That is tantamount to failing. You won’t hear too many stories about that.

They won’t tell you about the pain.

And this pain will come in many forms. Your muscles hurting when the marathon seems to be longer than you thought. That business you opened a few months ago which now proves to be a huge pain in the ass because you’ve got no fucking clue on what you should be doing and no idea on where you’re headed. Those simple repetitive routine tasks of learning something new and the exhaustion of getting from burnout to burnout trying to work on that side gig when all your friends are out having fun. Or quitting your job to follow the idea that was in the back of your mind since quite a while ago and realizing that it’s way harder than you ever thought and that you’re soon running out of money.

But wasn’t it your dream to escape the humdrum of a normal life, to stop doing all those tedious and meaningless things and chase an errant way of living life instead?

Then follow your pain.

No, that dream of yours isn’t actually made up of cold beers on a sunny island beach in the Pacific, full of luscious cocktail-sipping ladies and nightlong parties. At least not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

Most of the time, it will be pain. Pain and work. Sometimes hard work, sometimes only mundane, dreary daily tasks no one ever wants to do. Pain, work and skipping the usual joys your friends are having while they’re not chasing anything in particular.

Next time when you find yourself daydreaming, choose pain. And then follow it. Pain will show you the way. If it’s not there, it means you’re not going anywhere.

That’s the only way to where you want to go.

Choose to follow your pain. But choose wisely. Choose something that you are willing to endure in the long run. If you think you’ve got a good grasp of what lays ahead of you, add fifty percent more. At least fifty. Then feel it, know it, bear it, embrace it. Fall in love with it. Let it be part of who you are. Make it a daily routine to embrace your pain as if it was your only love. Follow your pain day in and day out.

After you do that enough, do more. One day you will start to like it. You will enjoy your pain. You will become your pain. It won’t hurt anymore. It will be part of your life.

That day will be the day when you will be able to say that you are living your dream.

Your pain will still be there without a doubt, but you will have gotten used to it. Your pain will be part of you. And with it, your dream.

The thing with daydreaming is that you can’t imagine the pain behind living your dream every single day. You’re longing for all those imagined pleasures while being oblivious to the daunting challenges and tedious tasks that will encompass your dream without a doubt.

But if you remove the pain, the dream will not be there anymore. So you need to continue. You need to keep going through the pain in order to do whatever it was you set out to do in the very beginning.

You need to follow your pain.

Image Source: Pixabay.

I published the original article on my blog here.

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Painfully true...