inspiration tag

Redefining Pain

redefining pain

A hundred billion neurons.  Ten trillion cells.  One hundred trillion bacteria.  All of this influenced by an immeasurable number of environmental and biological factors.

Human beings are complex creatures, aren’t they?

If you look through a microscope, perhaps.  If you take a step back, however, human behavior can be summarized in one sentence.

We move toward pleasure and away from pain. 

In most situations, pain plays a greater role in our motivation.  Burning your hand on a hot coal, walking across broken glass, or getting punched in the face with a baseball bat are all painful situations, however this is typically not the kind of pain that influences our behavior.  What pain does move us?

It depends on how you define pain.  More accurately, it depends on what you choose to believe is painful.

For most, uncertainty is the greatest source of pain.  Even if our current situation isn’t ideal- or far from it- we are more likely to continue with the status quo because we can predict the outcome.  What lies behind door #2 could be your wildest dreams realized.  It could also be humiliation, failure, ridicule.  The potential pleasure is overshadowed by this potential pain, so we choose the familiar route, the certain route, the easy route.

What’s the problem with doing what’s easy?


We settle.  We fail to grow.  We lower our own bar.  We become a victim of our own limitations.

Worst of all, we lose our edge.  When everything is easy, nothing is exciting.

Redefining Pain

The first step for changing this course is to redefine what we interpret as pain.

Which is worse?

[Short term] The rejection that comes from a failed attempt of hitting on the girl at the bar or [Long term] a lifetime of loneliness?

[Short term] The humiliation of not being able to follow through on a publicly stated goal or [Long term] the complete absence of self-confidence?

[Short term] The failure that comes from “unsuccessfully” pursuing an entrepreneurial venture or [Long term] marinating in regret on your deathbed?

When we take a bigger picture look at what’s painful, pain and pleasure change camps.  What’s easy becomes hard.

What’s hard becomes easy.

Fables and Fortune Hunters

The following is an excerpt from Timothy Ferriss’ The Four Hour Work Week, a book very instrumental in my decision to go for an extended wander.  I recommend his blog.  Always very inspirational and insightful.


Fables and Fortune Hunters

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders.  Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head.  A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

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Kitty Inspiration

kitty fail

Some choose not to let the laws of physics slow them down on their quest of ultimate worldly domination.  This brave young hero, a cat, a kitty cat at that, demonstrates a bravado that hasn’t been seen by a feline since the days of a matured Simba.

Ultimately in the end of this tragic quest to defy the constraining laws laid out by Sir Isaac Newton, our kitty hero and friend, proves that not even determination is enough to overcome pure stupidity.

Whiskers: 2010 – 2010.  RIP

Problems Lead to Hula Dancing

Anyone who works in an office knows, the shared bathroom can turn into a real stink-a-palooza in the morning (the coffee hours).  Every day, when I venture into my office’s restroom, I mentally prepare myself for the worst possible olfactory scenario to ensure that I’m not ever caught off guard.  Most of the time, the situation is fine.  Othertimes…..

This is not a post about bowel movements.

This is a post about opportunity. Read more