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The Benefits of Pain

Nobody likes pain, but the impulse to flee from it probably makes things worse. It becomes a form of mental pain, i.e. anxiety. 

Some pains are necessary to face so it’s better to learn how to benefit from pain. Yes, pain can be an *immense* benefit. 

As awful as pain is, it can be a spiritual experience when you contemplate that sins are being washed away here. That patience in this small moment gets rewarded without end. 

Pain also recalibrates your happiness standard: you have a terrible headache, then it goes away. Suddenly you’re in bliss. But in reality, you’re just back to normal.

Pain is also amazing for growth in that it forces us to re-evaluate the status quo. When times are good, we don’t think about change. Human progress in all fields begins with immense pain that forces industry leaders to find solutions. 

Pain is spiritual in another way. Namely, it causes detachment. You can have twenty years of happiness in a job, but a six week ordeal makes you happy to get out of there. 

As long as human beings have free-will there will be pain. When you use your free-will to get a job, pain occurs to all the candidates that didn’t get that job. It’s inescapable. Pain is the price we pay for free-will.

Lastly, there can’t ever be long term painlessness, because that would naturally result in atrophy, which brings on the worst of all pains. If you keep doing something pleasurable, it loses its taste and eventually becomes hateful and maybe even painful. So pain at the right  intervals actually prolongs happiness and sharpens it. 

In sum, one of the biggest emotional and mental vice grips that weighs us down is the desire to be away from pain. It keeps us on the defensive instead of advancing. The better skill to learn is how to benefit from pain, since it’s inevitable anyway.


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