January 9, 2021
Pain+ Reflection= Progress-This is what Ray Dalio, the famed American billionaire, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist says in his book Principles.
For this equation to be correct, we need to be aware of the pain. There is a difference between being in pain and being aware,” feeling” the pain.
When you are in pain, you identify yourself entirely with the pain.
Example: Your supervisor makes a condescending remark about some work you have done at the workplace. He makes this comment in front of others, and you feel insulted(pain). You become angry(pain). Even after coming out of the meeting, the anger and sense of insult linger. Whenever you come face to face with your supervisor, the negative feelings keep resurfacing.
The negative emotions have overwhelmed you, and you struggle to pull yourself out of them.
In contrast, when you “feel” the pain, it means you are conscious and aware of the pain.
Taking the same example above. When your supervisor comments, you can sense the negative feelings building up inside you. There is a part of you observing this. The pain is very much there. But you can see it welling up inside you as if in the third person. You think about why your supervisor made those comments and you can pinpoint it to some flaw in the work you did. When the time is appropriate, you bring it up in a one to one conversation with your supervisor and clarify your situation.
Whether it is in the moment when you experience the pain or later, you can only reflect on your negative feelings if you are conscious of their presence.
So, in a way, Consciousness=Progress. Because your consciousness is that vital faculty that enables you to self-reflect on your pain and evolve.