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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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