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How to leverage your pain as a servant

How to leverage your pain as a servant

What if you viewed:

  • Pain as fuel?
  • Hurt as something to look forward to?
  • Disappointments as your servant?

How would that change your outlook on life? On your relationships? On your business?

Do me a favor and indulge me until you finish reading this article. I want you to question why you believe that:

  • Pain is something to be avoided
  • Heartache is bad
  • Struggle is something negative

No, I want you to really ask yourself why you believe that.

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It’s because along this journey of life you have picked up messages from the people and society surrounding you. Don’t worry, I have too. I call this “mass thinking.”

Did you ever hear your mom say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”? If you heard that example of “mass thinking” often, and you heard enough other people say it too, you probably accepted it as fact and never stopped to question it.

Or, what if you heard your dad always say, “People can’t be trusted”? If so, you probably inadvertently picked up that concept as a child and have never bothered to question it.

What makes us suffer as humans are our own thoughts and the mass thinking we’ve adopted. According to master motivator Tony Robbins, most people don’t ever master their thoughts, and that’s why they are in anguish.

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Best-selling author Jack Canfield, says, “Thoughts are simply programmed. We are conditioned by our parents, school, church, culture and so on.” Because of this conditioning, we rarely revisit thoughts or beliefs that no longer serve us.

So, how do you, in a sense, re-program your long-held, deep-seated beliefs?

According to motivational speaker Brian Tracy, you simply need to question the thoughts you currently believe in.  For example, let me ask you two questions.

  1. Do you believe it is possible for a person to become a millionaire?
  2. Now, do you believe it is possible for you to become a millionaire?

I’m pretty sure the majority of you said yes to the first question but no to the second question. Why?

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Why do you believe that?

If you simply change that belief to the belief that it is possible, you will unlock your subconscious and allow it to look for ways for you to become a millionaire. But, if you continue to believe that it is not possible for you, you will never unlock your potential power to find a way to make it happen.

So, how can you leverage your negative, harmful, painful thoughts to serve you instead of hinder you?

Here are five ways you can do so, according to leadership expert Robin Sharma. He calls it his five “ings.”

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  1. Journaling – Sharma said on his YouTube channel that journaling saved his life. He believes the antidote to pain is gratitude, so he writes down what he is grateful for. In addition, he says that you can never escape your pain, but that you can only feel yourself through the pain. Journaling allows you to process the pain and use it as a servant and not as a cruel task master.
  2. Talking – Sharma says that talking releases the energy of the pain. If you don’t talk about how you feel, that energy stays inside you and you end up making yourself sick. When we repress emotions, we only hurt ourselves.
  3. Communing – Nature is something you must commune with. You have to go outside and walk, breathe and be at one with nature. Being in nature gives you much-needed perspective on whatever ails you.
  4. Moving – You have to move in order to improve. When you exercise, you will shift your psychology, your neurobiology and your metabolic rate by releasing endorphins, which are natural motivational drugs, in your brain.
  5. Resting – We can only get better if we recharge. Studies show that it is only during sleep that the body and brain have a chance to do their repair work- to undo the subtle damage suffered by millions of cells over the course of each day. So, get some rest.

Instead of viewing pain as something to avoid, try to look at it as something to embrace. Pain, disappointment, hurt and heartache are just natural parts of your process of becoming a stronger version of yourself.

And remember, whatever you are going through now is only temporary. It may last a while, but eventually, this too shall pass, and you will be a stronger person because of it.

More by this author

meiko patton

Founder - Never Ever Give Up

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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