leaning into the pain

(Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash)

Since when did difficulty becomes so relevant to the discussion of you reaching your life goals?



Pain is best used as a guide not a deterrent.

Anxiety, depression, and addiction are related to this idea of ‘storing pain’.

Let me tell you a story about storing pain.



Faced with the malevolence of life - the great truth of daily suffering - I consistently managed to choose number four of Tolstoy’s four reasonable responses to the absurdity of life:


  1. Ignorance, like a child refusing to accept reality.

  2. Pleasure, like an addict on the hedonic treadmill.

  3. Suicide.

  4. Holding on, despite everything.

- Leo Tolstoy, A Confession


As I got tired, and found the bypassing available through drugs, number one became the new, easier choice.

The paradox became that in the micro-term of that day, 'storing’ pain was the obvious choice over facing it. But in even the short-term - let alone the long-term - the interest accrued on stored pain becomes insurmountable.

Accruing any interest at all is completely unnecessary.

What’s the best way to reduce carrying cost? Stop owning that thing. (core concept of minimalism)


Pain is best felt in moderation.



Accruing debt makes the idea of winning the lottery more and more enticing.

Getting rid of all of it at once is an easy way of avoiding the truth that eliminating debt is just as slow or slower as its accumulated.



Feeling feelings on a daily basis, storing nothing, now that’s the way to go.

Daily work is the answer to every problem. The End.

Faced with an opportunity to experience some pain (or another uncomfortable emotion)?

Go for it. Feel some. Maybe not all at once, but feel something.

Bypassing emotions entirely will only make them hit you harder later.



“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world” - Said the richest man in the world.

He’s giving us the answer. Slowly over time, not in major spurts.

Bit by bit.



Chip, chip, chip.


Hoping this piece helps you understand your emotions better, and provides you with some reassurance if you’re already taking a long approach.

If you’re stuck in short-term highs, may this remind you of the truth that life is a balancing act, and that the good can’t come without plenty of bad.

Regardless, I hope it helps you, because God only knows my life would be better if it affected someone else.

<3