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Pick Your Pain

By: Michael Blankenship |

”Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me, pain is pleasure.”

 – Arnold Schwarzenegger

One way or another…

Life is a gauntlet of pain. 

Every choice we make has some level of pain attached to it. 

Even choices that initially feel painless come with costs and burdens.

Sitting around all day on the couch is easy…

…but by the end of the day, your body is stiff, and your “to-do” list for tomorrow just got longer. 

You opted for what you thought would be a pain-free day, but all you did was postpone the inevitable. 

On the other side…

Being super helpful and available to people is also painful…

It’s demanding and stressful

…but at the end of the day, you feel good about yourself and the work you put in. 

What I’m getting at is no matter what you choose…

There’s always going to be a part of your choices that suck.

Consider an athlete that forces their body to the limit every day. 

Pushing through the…

Sore muscles


And occasional injury.

Running miles and lifting weights is brutal work…

But in the end, there’s a tremendous feeling of satisfaction in exercising not just your body but your…




It sucked, but was totally worth it. 

Now, imagine a talented artist who fears criticism…

…and because of that, never shares their work. 

Shadowed by doubt, our artist also made a choice…

…just like the athlete. 

But unlike the athlete, who feels elevated at the end of the day.

The artist bears the internal pain of “what ifs.”

Their creations remain unseen…

The agony of unrealized potential is a slow, insidious burn.

So, what’s the takeaway? 

There’s no life choice that is entirely free of pain or challenge. 

The trick is not to sidestep discomfort but to embrace it consciously, understanding its role in shaping us. 

The question isn’t…

“How can I avoid pain?” 

But rather…

“What kind of pain do I believe is worth bearing?”

Mark Mason, author of the book, “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” said. 

“Sometimes, I ask people, ‘How do you choose to suffer?’ These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life.”—Mark Manson

We can’t escape pain.

But we can choose its form. 

And in that choice, 

We define not just our challenges but also our… 




So, as you navigate your choices…ask yourself

“Which pain is worth my time?” 

Because in that question, you hold the key to a life of purpose and meaning.

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