Every athlete has had to deal with pain from injury or pain from the sacrifice required to train and compete at the highest level. But pain is just a word. Reading it doesn’t trigger your pain receptors to fire. Remembering the time that your finger was smashed between two helmets or caught in the car door is not the same as experiencing the actual pain at the instant it occurs. But when it does happen, will you be able to take it? Will you be able to take the pain and discomfort that may be required to achieve your goals and aspirations?
Consider the difference in the following scenario: Suffering fatigue and the loss of family time while working long hours to earn a promotion vs. suffering fatigue and the loss of family time while working long hours to, in the end, fail to reach goals.
One you can take, the other you can’t. Why? Because pain without purpose is intolerable. We can’t take it. This is why it’s so important to reflect on the question, “What is my purpose? What is a sufficiently compelling reason that would enable me to take the pain and sacrifice that I will be faced with in life?” If the answer isn’t clear to you, you won’t be able to take it when it comes. And it is coming.
In our day-to-day lives, it’s often hard to understand how the tribulations and sufferings we face can be of any value to us. We are often like a little child who can only see the scraped knee and cries out in anguish. This is because the less physical, mental and spiritual pain and discomfort we experience in our daily lives, the less we will be able to take it when it comes. As we grow older, life’s “scrapes” become more tolerable as we learn valuable lessons – everything happens for a reason.
The greater the purpose, the greater the sacrifice you will be able to make and the more readily you will be able to accept the tribulations that come your way. Prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually and ask, “What is my ultimate purpose?”