Brilliant reminder from Ray Dalio on Pain and Reflection.
This somehow reiterates my old blog on Baggage. (Go on and read it if you haven’t yet)
There is no avoiding pain, especially if you’re going after ambitious goals. Believe it or not, you are lucky to feel that kind of pain if you approach it correctly, because it is a signal that you need to find solutions so you can progress. If you can develop a reflexive reaction to psychic pain that causes you to reflect on it rather than avoid it, it will lead to your rapid learning/evolving. After seeing how much more effective it is to face the painful realities that are caused by your problems, mistakes, and weaknesses, I believe you won’t want to operate any other way. It’s just a matter of getting in the habit of doing it.
Most people have a tough time reflecting when they are in pain and they pay attention to other things when the pain passes, so they miss out on the reflections that provide the lessons. If you can reflect well while you’re in pain (which is probably too much to ask), great. But if you can remember to reflect after it passes, that’s valuable too.
The challenges we face will test and strengthen us. If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximising your potential.
The challenges you face will test and strengthen you. If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential. Though this process of pushing your limits, of sometimes failing and sometimes breaking through—and deriving benefits from both your failures and your successes—is not for everyone, if it is for you, it can be so thrilling that it becomes addictive. Life will inevitably bring you such moments, and it’ll be up to you to decide whether you want to go back for more. If you choose to push through this often painful process of personal evolution, you will naturally “ascend” to higher and higher levels. As you climb above the blizzard of things that surrounds you, you will realize that they seem bigger than they really are when you are seeing them up close; that most things in life are just “another one of those.” The higher you ascend, the more effective you become at working with reality to shape outcomes toward your goals. What once seemed impossibly complex becomes simple.
Thank you for the reminder, Ray!