I can already tell that some of you are saying to yourself, “Well, I certainly do not want to read that Tip! I already have enough pain in my life.” However, if you will bear with me for a moment, I think the approach we will take to this Tip will help all of us to be in a better position to understand how the pain process works.
I once heard my good friend, Guy Harris, share this concept to a group of people. Guy is an excellent communicator and has a way of breaking down complex thoughts into simple concepts. He shared that pain is actually inevitable. We will either experience the pain of preparation, which takes place before we win, or experience the pain of losing when circumstances do not turn out as expected. Guy went on to explain that preparation is difficult and takes a lot of time and hard work. It is painful to know exactly how to prepare for an upcoming situation whether in a business endeavor or in a relationship.
When walk into a new situation, there will always be some unknown factors and a few surprises along the way. Advanced preparation is important but can be very difficult at times. However, if you have prepared and done all that you can to succeed, the hard cold fact of reality is that sometimes you will still lose. And again, that is also painful. Guy encouraged us to know that we would experience pain either on the front end of a situation or the back side of one. He also pointed out to us that the pain of preparation was usually much less agonizing than the pain of losing. He concluded by saying, “You are going to experience pain, therefore, choose wisely!”
I appreciate good concepts and I certainly value the truth of what Guy was teaching. It is a fact that none of us are going to get through life without pain. It is inevitable, but I prefer to choose the pain of preparation rather than the pain setting myself up for failure and losing.
Did you watch any of the recent Olympic Games? I remember the time President Ronald Reagan was speaking to the Olympic athletes in 1984. President Reagan said, “You, ladies and gentlemen, perhaps more than anyone else, know the difference between the will to win and the will to prepare to win.” What was President Reagan saying? He was basically saying, “You are going to experience pain. However, you have chosen the pain of preparation. You have chosen wisely. You have prepared to do the very best you can to win an Olympic medal.” Did all of the athletes win Olympic medals? No. Some experienced the pain of losing and came home with absolutely nothing. But, on the other hand, some did win. Some experienced the thrill of victory rather than the agony of defeat. Yet, all of them experienced preparation pain. They all chose wisely.
Life is filled with daily choices. When Guy said, “Choose wisely,” I thought that those were probably two of the most important words that any person could ever hear. Regardless of the circumstances or situation in which we find ourselves, we should choose wisely. We should choose the pain of preparation over the pain of inadvertently losing every time. If we do not choose the pain of preparation, then the pain of losing will be the natural by product and outcome. It is inevitable. On the other hand, if we do choose the pain of preparation, we have a better chance of bypassing the pain of losing. We have a good opportunity to improve our circumstances and situations.
I have thought about this concept many times for the past few days has helped me look at my daily circumstances more realistically. Rather than feeling defeated when I am walking into a new situation, I have started realizing that the “upfront pain” is a whole lot better than the alternative. It has helped me to face the concept of pain with a little more reality, rather than wishing it would go away completely. That is not how life is designed and it simply is unrealistic to think otherwise.
As you look at your situations this week, prefer the pain of preparation. It will put you in a better position in all that you do. Preparation works wonders for your attitude, your heart and your outlook on life. Always remember regarding pain – choose wisely!
Tip: You are going to experience pain!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm