It is the mid-20th century and you’re in the early days of your law practice, after serving in the army for a couple of years as the world is fighting its second world war. You come out of it alive, get married and now have 3 children with your spouse. Things are going well only until when life hits you, and the marriage gets sour. You’re not even 30 and you lose everything including your house to your spouse in the divorce battle.
Life is tough, but you go on to focus on earning and rebuilding yourself again. Except life is still not done with taking more from you. Just a year after your divorce your child is detected with an incurable blood cancer (remember we’re in the 20th century). Medical insurance is not yet introduced, and you have no option but to pay bills from your pocket despite barely having stabilized from the last devastating pitfall.
Watching your young 8-year-old slowly die each day helplessly is shattering. A year later the son is no more. At 31 you’re broke and burying your son.
For folks who’re into investing might have guessed this is the story of one of the world’s most successful investor Charlie Munger. That is the kind of pain he has endured in life.
Now why are we talking about pain? Because it is one of those feeling which is the most relatable to all human beings. It is the universal thread that ties all of us since no one can escape that. I am sure all of you reading this would recollect some point in life where you felt the pain.
When we go through something painful it rocks our world, it is devastating, makes us puke our guts out, cry, traps us into self-pity, makes us ask why me, makes us believe I can’t take this anymore. None of these feelings are invalid, I have had them all and it gets ugly.
But, but, but they also teach you a lot. The pain when embraced changes your life, changes who you’re as a person. It’s tough because you must have faith in the future, look forward to rebuilding yourself, and most important put in the effort to rework.
You pick stories of any successful person today; they’ve had their share of pain. The only difference is they’ve embraced it and learned from it. Athletes are the best example of the same. Bodybuilders go through physical pain every single day pushing themselves to lift more to grow their muscles for years at a stretch, they also go through mental pain due to extreme diets to look the way they want to, to win. They seek pain, because they know it will help them progress in the direction of their choice.
Businesses go through tough phases and take pain in the short term to gain in the longer term. They get hammered at times by investors in terms of price due to lack of performance in the short term. Nobody likes to see prices of their investments go down.
How to embrace pain you might ask? That’s for another day, for now lets meditate of the thought of pain in a positive way instead of the negative connotation associated with pain.
Source: The Safal Niveshak