If you haven’t read the article, written by Mark Manson, yet, I suggest you read it immediately – The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today
When I first read that heading a whole lot of questions came rushing to mind:
1. What do I want?
2. What is my dream?
3. What is important?
4. Are you ready?
Not once did I think of the question I was about to be faced with after reading this refreshingly honest article. The first phrase that hooked me in was, “What pain do you want?”
Never have I asked myself this – have you? What pain do you want? What are you willing to endure or overcome? What struggles and sacrifices are you willing to put up with? “Willing” is not even the appropriate term, “happy” is more suited in the context of this topic – What are you going to be happy doing (despite the pain)?
It seems natural to look ahead and just think of what you want to achieve and to pay little or no attention to how you will get there – sure, we know what needs to be done; we create marketing strategies, study for many years, or work long hours, but the point is, do we WANT that?
It is not just about wanting the end goal, it is about wanting the journey too. Will the journey provide as much happiness as the end result? Or are you happy to put up with any obstacles/pain/struggles/uncomfortable work environments in order to achieve your dreams?
Whatever your answer, the point is that you need to address the question. By addressing this question you might find that your dream might not be worth it, but without addressing this question you might spend years on a painful path only to realise that it wasn’t worth it.
Manson wrote, “At the core of all human behavior, the good feelings we all want are more or less the same. Therefore what we get out of life is not just determined by the good feelings we desire, but by what bad feelings we’re willing to endure.”
This article can apply to any area of your life – for me, however, as an entrepreneur it made me realise how often I think of that end result without facing the question that Manson presents.
In answering this question I have realised that I am happy to do whatever I can (and put up with pain) in order to reach my professional goals, but I am also happy to let some things go in order to maintain other personal goals.
Mark Manson ends the article by stating, “Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. Choose how you are willing to suffer.”
I have chosen – have you?