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Pain is Inevitable

“Pain is inevitable – suffering is optional.” – This is one of my favorite quotes by a gentlemen named Timber Hawkeye. Timber preaches about the practical application of Buddhism for people using any belief system. Now, I’ll leave the discussions on spirituality for others who actually know what they’re talking about, but this quote has such a broad application I couldn’t help but take it for a spin.

To explain what I’m talking about, let’s look at another famous quote – “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” -Mike Tyson. Whether it’s life, sports, or your company, your plan will work fine…until it doesn’t. For whatever reason the universe is hell bent on punching all of us in the face , some of us more than others. But why is it that some people are able to endure and succeed, while others just get beat down? How can one NBA team come back from a 20 point deficit in five minutes, when another simply collapses? How can one person be abused as a child and it ruins their entire life, but another finds strength in that pain and uses it to help others? How does one business owner’s bankruptcy scar them permanently, while another starts a new company and bounces right back to financial success?

Here is why, and how. They understand that pain is inevitable. They don’t hide from it. They don’t shy away from it. They wade neck deep into it. But they know that suffering is optional. They know that a business failure, or a missed shot, or a bad relationship doesn’t define them, nor does it determine their future success. They choose to ignore the suffering and move right through to the success that they know is theirs for the taking.

So, the next time an emotionally debilitating business problem comes your way, remember, if you’re not dead, and if no one in your immediate family has a life threatening disease, then your problem is solvable. Go solve it.

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