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The Pain Associated With Glory

The Pain Associated With Glory

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~Helen Keller

The Pain of Glory

It is very misleading to see the end result of greatness on display if you have no prior knowledge of the process that leads to the outcome you’re witnessing. For anyone who has never had to find it within themselves to use the experience of pain as an ingredient in the recipe to produce glory, the journey towards the desired outcome when witnessing glory in someone else’s life has no value. The recent Olympic games puts that very principal into focus. All of the athletes who competed in Rio came representing, not only the sport they love, but also as the best of their country. So imagine training for four years on a daily basis while sacrificing your time, neglecting personal relationships, and enduring constant personal mental torture along the way. Competition and the preparation for competition is, in itself, suffering. No one wants to be out-performed, and each of us either trains to win or never trains at all out of fear of failure.

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However, for anyone who can recall blood, sweat and tears leading to cheers, applause, and victory, the picture included in this post sums up the meaning of “The Pain Associated With Glory.”

Aiming for the Extraordinary

The media is good at displaying mediocre people who find a way to achieve extraordinary results. When, in reality, there is nothing mediocre about a person desiring to do the extraordinary. This level of results come from grasping that everybody has visions of being more than mediocre, but only with an extreme willingness to submit to the visions will produce extraordinary results.

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Visualize the athlete who aspires to break a world record in the Olympics. An athlete is forced to find a way through training to make their bodies submit and even suffer in order to distinguish themselves from everyone else who wishes to obtain the same medal. When all of the athletes in a race cross the finish line, and the winner becomes conscious that they have won, we see them begin to cry tears of joy and think that it’s the result of apprehending a crowning achievement. But, in reality, those waterworks are a reflection of the voyage it took to get to the finish line. The extreme emotions aren’t just about winning, but instead, is a moment of reflection about the investment that finally paid off.

The training regimens for athletes are a good example of everyday life because good habits produce desired outcomes. Every day, people aspire to be healthier but do their habits mirror the aspiration?

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Embracing Change

As the seasons change so, too, should we be able to have genuine reflective times to investigate what we want to obtain and ask ourselves are we willing to submit to the process it would take to gain what we want, expect and see as possible? Are you the best spouse you could be? Could you be better at parenting? Have you neglected your personal health? Are you good at managing your money? All of these things take the same obedience to a vision that an athlete must use to become a champion. The Pain of Glory is available to everyone, but not everyone is willing to surrender to sacrifice change.

Transformation is uncomfortable but necessary in order to harvest the best of who you are. Look for the place you need to transform and understand the formula may be painful but the end result is worth your investment.

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Featured photo credit: Reuters via naijapr.com

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Lester Brown

A Dreamer Chaser

The Pain Associated With Glory

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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