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2 Types of Pain and the Choice is Yours
by On September 15, 2010

Before you start thinking I have turned into a drill sergeant, let me explain.

There are two kinds of pain: the pain of discipline and then there is the pain of regret. You do not get to choose a life of pain or no pain. Instead you get to choose if you will feel the pain of disciple or the pain of regret – there is no other alternative – but the choice is yours to make.

When you are committed to growth, in your life, career, bank account etc, you will experience pain. On one hand, the pain of discipline hurts a little and when you experience it, it makes you stronger, healthier, and tougher. The pain of regret on the other hand hurts a lot and, when we feel this pain, it can injure or crush us.

For instance, if you choose the pain of discipline in your physical life, it could mean passing up a piece of chocolate cake for desert and opting for fruit instead. Or choosing to get up and work out before work instead of hitting the snooze bar.

The pain of regret means choosing the cake and the snooze bar in the moment, but regretting that choice later when you experience weight gain, a heart attack or an injury.

How do you tell the difference?

The pain of discipline, (which I would encourage you to choose), is one that you consciously choose. You inflict it upon yourself a little bit at a time. The pain of regret is inflicted upon you – you do not get to choose when you will experience it.

Here is a good example of this. If a person is diabetic, they have to give themselves a shot of insulin. It hurts and it is uncomfortable, but they choose to inflect this pain onto themselves. If they choose not to inject themselves, their bodies will shut down and they will die. They can choose a little bit of pain now or the pain of death later.

I know this is a strong analogy, but here is the deal, you have a choice to make everyday about what kind of pain you are going to experience. Maybe the pain of discipline for you involves making those extra 10 cold calls when you do not feel like it. Maybe it involves going to the gym when you do not feel like it. Maybe it is getting up half an hour earlier everyday to meditate.

I do not know exactly what it looks like for you. But I promise you, if you are choosing something that is a little bit uncomfortable, it makes you stronger. And, I promise you, you will be moving in the right direction.

If you do not choose the pain of disciple, I can guarantee you will experience the pain of regret later on

I encourage you to choose wisely.

Be Free!

Roger Seip

  1. Loren

    Love this concept! Thanks Roger. It applies to everyone in many aspects. Actually spent some time explaining this to my 8 yr old daughter. She had to do a long homework assignment and she had a week to do it. I encouraged her to do a little each night, but she chose to wait until last minute. So of course the night before, she had to take 2 hours to do all the work and as the Teachable Moment Gods arrived along with her cousins to play, she had to miss the fun. She looked at me and said, “is this pain of regret Mommy?”

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