Pain and Pride- 2 Sides Of Achievement
January 11, 2020
Let me start with a small exercise. Before you read any further, take a moment and list down your top achievements or anything that you have done in your life that you are very proud of .
What is common with all of them?
Undergoing pain, Hard work, Special effort, Courage, Overcoming odds, Defying circumstances, Going that extra mile, Being a better human being- You are able to associate all or some of these points will that achievement. Right ?
Let me now give another exercise. List down some key achievements in life that you have managed without any special effort, pain. Either, you are unable to list down achievements of this sort or you are unable to muster any pride thinking about these, Right?
When I put it like this, everything seems obvious. There can be no meaningful achievement without some sort of toil- physical or emotional. Seen in hindsight, our educational achievements, our work related achievements, our extra curricular achievements all have all the ingredients of effort and pain in varying proportions.
However, It has taken me lifetime to figure this obvious truth and I am still trying to come to terms with it. Let me explain why I say I am still trying to come to terms with this.
Over the years,
- I wanted to run marathons- I started practicing- found the effort too onerous. I gave up.
- I love Indian Classical music and wanted to learn the art. In fact, I have had not one, two but 3 aborted attempts at learning the art. I gave up within 3 to 6 months of starting.
- I wanted to write stories( i am shying from saying novels :)). I have atleast 3 odd drafts of 20-30 pages written, lying hidden somewhere, in my archives.
- I want to become more patient. This takes a lot of mental effort and discipline. I am patient for a few days and then, something happens to upset my balance. I have to start over again.
- I want to regulate my eating habits and reduce weight. There have been multiple attempts at this. None of them stuck.
Why is it that when I have a desire to do something, I start and I give up?
Because, in each of the aborted endeavors listed above and many others, while the headline of learning music, writing, running a marathon, losing weight etc looked very exciting , I was unaware, unprepared and unwilling to undergo the pain and the effort to develop proficiency and achieve the outcome, I set out for. Even if I fleetingly achieved some outcome(like the target weight) , I lacked the will and perseverance to carry on.
So, today, before I undertake any new activity,
- I take the effort to understand the process involved in any activity
- I ask people who have done something similar, what it took them to achieve whatever they did.
- I list down the challenges I am likely to encounter.
- I visualize the pain and effort required from my side. I then ask myself, whether I am prepared to undergo that pain.
- If the answer is yes- I pick it up.
This is the process I undertook, when I quit SCB to join Perfios. This is the process I undertook when I committed to start my Blog.
This will have to be the process when I take on my 4th attempt at learning music. Fortunately, I don’t have to look too far for inspiration and guidance. I have 2 amazing kids(one who is already at a high proficiency and the other who is following him) who can help me, because they have undergone the pain and come out on the other side.