We tend to avoid and run away from pain, whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual —and yet we forget about the utility of pain.

Here’s the deal:

Pain creates focus.
Pain creates desire.
Pain creates urgency.

And ultimately —facing our pain is the direct path to personal growth instead of waiting around for a crisis.

Let me explain.

Imagine two people who find themselves in similar situations —living shadow callings in careers they don’t enjoy.

They have some money, status and society’s approval but deep down they’re out of alignment.

The first person avoids this pain, constantly distracting themselves from this gnawing feeling that they’re wasting their life away.

Because they’ve adapted to this baseline —they avoid their real feelings through distractions, vicariously living or chasing the promotion, but:

Deep down they’re lost.
Deep down they’re scared.
Deep down they’re uncertain.

And so they avoid the utility of pain as the days become weeks and the weeks become months and years.

Now, let’s take the second person —who finds themselves in the same situation.

But instead of running from pain:

They listen to the signals.
They listen to the whispers.
They listen to the inner voice.

And instead of running away from the pain and focusing on how much time, effort and energy they’ve already put into their career —they lean in and get honest:

Honest about their lack of purpose.
Honest about their lack of aliveness.
Honest about their lack of fulfillment.

And if they’re willing to face this pain head on without filters, platitudes or Instagram quotes about being grateful for what they have:

The utility of pain creates focus.
The utility of pain creates urgency.
The utility of pain creates intensity.
The utility of pain creates decisiveness.
The utility of pain creates radical honesty.
The utility of pain creates compelling desire.

And so this person goes into the depths of truth to face themselves and while it may be painful short term —they will rise from the ashes.

The reality is:

Most people have adapted to a life they don’t want —but have masked the pain ever so slightly.

And they’ve become numb, disconnected, apathetic and barely “there.”

(By the way, I’ve been there —which is why I can speak to it.)

But if they simply faced the pain, they’d realize it holds the keys to the liberation they so daydream of but do nothing about.

The life you and I desire —is found on the other side of pain.

How can you harness the utility of pain in your life?

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