No Pain No Gain

According to Wikipedia No pain, no gain (or “No gain without pain”) is an exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work. Under this conception competitive professionals such as athletes and artists are required to endure pain and pressure to achieve professional excellence.

No Pain No Gain, a widely respected point of view in many areas of life. It seems to be also one of those sayings that gets overlooked or taken for granted too. Let me explain.

We seem to be in an age where many people who succeed in life are not given the credit for what they have gone through to have their success. We see a guy with an incredible build and our first reaction is “He must have used steroids”. We see a successful business person and we can be skeptical on how they achieved their success. We hear musical geniuses and assume that they are just gifted. We rarely consider the time and effort that is invested in order to reach the level of expertise or success that they have reached.

I knew of two young men back in the early days of my radio career whose families both owned radio stations. The one was made to work from the ground up, learning every nuance of the industry and spending time in every department. When all was said and done, he had become a very successful business man himself and one that people loved working for. The other never really worked a day in his life and was given excuses by his parents for every obstacle that he encountered, he never really earned the respect or recognition of his co workers or anyone in the industry. In the end, the family ended up selling off the company and the son went to work for somebody else. No Pain-No Gain.

I marvel at the athletes who participate in the Iron Man competitions. If you have not heard of an Ironman, here is what you must do to participate, swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then run a marathon (26.2 miles) in that order without a break! Imagine the training that would go into that? The dedication, the discipline to change your lifestyle to participate in an event like that? Amazing!!!

Now imagine if you will a world that is created where we instill in our children the desire to work that hard at their education? Or a place in the business world where employees had that same desire to excel in the workplace? Outstanding students are not just born, no more than every successful business person is handed their success. It comes with a desire to succeed, a desire to learn and a work ethic that brings about the NPNG philosophy.

We seem to overlook the hours spent reading and studying, the sacrifices made or the academic focused attitude of the Valedictorian at your local high school. Too many of us only see the big beautiful house, or the fancy car or yacht that the successful business person owns and we do not think of what went into that persons life to accomplish what they have. How about the callused and bleeding fingers of the guitarist who plays all day trying to perfect their craft? Yes, some people started with a head start maybe, but most earn it with hard work and effort.

As I get older I notice that I ask more questions. I try to find out more behind the person, the “What makes them tick?” part of their lives. I am curious to find out how they got to where they are, what went into that chiseled physique, or how much studying they did to be #1 in their class? I remember how much studying my daughter Rebecca did going through High School, the dedication, the sacrifice. Even with that, she did not end up at the top of her class. I wonder where she would have been without the effort? She ended up with a wonderful education and a foundation for future success that she has been achieving in the business world. NPNG

No Pain No Gain is a figure of speech, in some cases, just a metaphor for perseverance. Yet we can learn from the premise. If you want to be a great salesperson, there is a road paved with a lot of fundamentals in order to get there. The ones who endure, seem to succeed, and the ones that cannot endure, find new lines of work. If you want to be a great teacher, there is a level of sacrifice that is needed, a point to service above self that must be maintained. Again, some see that and achieve it, while others change professions.

It seems that anything worthwhile in life comes with some effort, it also comes with many trials and tribulations too. As we carry ourselves through life and as we encourage others, we must remember that things are earned, not given to us in the real world. So when our children struggle or when our employees struggle, do not be so quick to bail them out. Let them discover for themselves that in order to gain, you may have to endure a little pain.

About rtg7

Leadership trainer, consultant, and educator. Maximizing and developing human potential for leaders and organizations.
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