In Rule 24, we spoke about knowing your why, an important rule for success. To generate extraordinary success learn to leverage your why with massive amounts of pain. When asked, many people believe it is the desire for pleasure that motivates us, more money, beautiful home, phenomenal vacations. On the contrary. Certainly many people would be happy with more money, and a beautiful home, so ask yourself, are you content? If you are content why do anything different? Only when you are discontent – or feeling pain, will you take action to move away from pain and toward pleasure. If you’re happy with your current position in life then why change? Why do anything different? Life is good.
What drives us to take action is emotion, and the emotion that has the greatest influence on us making change is the avoidance of pain. Pain however is relative. What is painful to one may not be painful for another. Give this some thought. Through my own unscientific poll I have come to find nearly 100 percent of the people who have quit smoking did so to avoid pain, physical (heart attack, hack up a lung), emotional (Mommy, I learned in school today smoking kills people. Are you going to die?) or financial (I am NOT going to pay 4 dollars for a pack of cigarettes) – and they did it cold turkey – when it finally became painful enough. Remember, pain is relative and different for everyone. What is yours?
I am always amazed at the responses to some of these rules. Rule number 24 was no exception. One reader shared with me that her why was independence. However, the pain leveraging her why, and the driving force behind her success was in fact the emotional pain growing up with a violent, schizophrenic, abusive father, and a mother who felt trapped. Instead of leaving, she exposed herself and her children to this dysfunctional environment. Today Lisa’s success is measured in the extraordinary relationship she has with her husband of 33 years and 3 grown, successful children. Instead of repeating the cycle and entering into dysfunctional relationships she sought out a most incredible patient man and instead of depending on others, she healed herself and lives a life where she lifts people up and friends and family know it is HER they can depend on.
Whatever success you seek in your life, whether it is wealth or fame, freedom or independence, relationships or health, what is going to drive you to extraordinary success is if you can leverage your why with a massive amount of pain.
Founder & CEO
Leader Development Institute