No Pain, No Gain

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

All of us naturally don’t want pain but some of us avoid it at all costs.  That’s why some of us don’t grow in character.  But there is an upside to pain.  Pain is needed to succeed in life.  Bo Sanchez would say, all permanent success comes from pain.  If that success did not derive from pain, that success will not last.  Take a look on those who have won the lottery or here in our country we call it lotto.  In March 2012 a certain Dionie Reyes won P14 million through lotto.  He lost it all in just three months through gambling, womanizing and drinking.  Not only is he bankrupt, he also owes someone P500,000.  In the U.S., Michael a garbage collector won 15 million dollars but lost it all after a few years and went back to his old job as a garbage collector.  If you want to find out more of these flash in the pan millionaires Google search “lotto winners who lost their money quickly”.  Some of them not only lost their money but also lost their family because of fighting for their share to their new found wealth.

Permanent success is a product of hard work and patience.  In the end, even if you win in a lottery, there is still no such thing as free lunch.  You will eventually lose all your winnings if you don’t have the proper attitude towards money as well as the mindset and skill to sustain and grow it. The lesson here is that skills, knowledge and right attitude is still more important than wealth.  You can lose wealth easily but you will always have your skills, knowledge and right attitude with you up until you die. Aside from that there is no limit to how much you can acquire wealth with your skills and knowledge whereas money earned from lottery is limited and decreases by the day without the right skills and attitude to sustain it.

To acquire skills and knowledge you need pain.  Pain to patiently go to school, wake up early and study hard.  Pain in giving up some leisure time and saving money for education.  Pain to practice the virtues of hard work, patience, time management, control of expenses, etc.  Pain is unavoidable in life whether you aspire for noble goals such as finishing a degree in college and get a job afterwards or when you decide to live a lazy, easygoing and directionless life.  The pain of reaching your dreams or life goals is worthwhile and meaningful whereas the pain of a bum life is more hurtful and hopeless.   It is a matter of choosing which pain you want to have.  John Maxwell says, “In life you can choose to play now and pay for it later or pay it now and play afterwards.”  It is just a mere swapping of words but it spells all the difference in life.

In the spiritual life, saints are forged in pain and fire.  St. Paul became a saint through evangelization amidst the persecutions of the first Christians (although he himself used to be one of the persecutors).  St. Augustine became a saint through a painful process of undergoing a life of debauchery but feeling deeply empty.  St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta became a saint in caring for the poor and sick to remind our self-absorbed and self-focused world that true joy is in going out of that suffocating and small world of self-absorption, and share yourself to others which is the essence of love.  Real love is willing the good of the others and willing it continuously.  All saints are molded through difficult times either through their surrounding environment or within their personal struggles.