Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

No pain, no gain, no change

8 August 2016


Lately, I have been chatting with an old friend. She misses someone to talk to. We used to talk before but my eagerness and inability to help her almost suffocated me. She was – and still is – not ready to change although I do notice that she is reaching her emotional and physical limits. This time, she proposed not to share any personal details with me which I gladly accepted. I know very well that my loyalty towards my friends is my strength and my weakness.

Last week, we had a breakthrough in our conversations. After several questions and answers, I gave her a possible explanation why she is in the situation that she is. That explanation came as a revelation to her and caused her to feel “pain” as she wrote to me.  I told her that personal growth often comes with pain.

Today “no pain, no gain” is mostly an exercise motto. That used to be very different. The earliest known reference dates back some 2,000 years and relates to religion (Wiki). It’s probably a universal truth: there is no progress without effort. Only (good) luck could/would contradict this. Apparently, luck is an uncharted topic as I can’t find any blog with that title.

Personal growth is often a nickname for an overdue change of direction. Change is (very) hard as we are fully convinced – and believe – that our current direction is the right one. External change is the easiest to accept as we can blame anything and anyone but ourselves. Self inflicted change comes after the truth has been slapping you in the face – and hard. That really hurts indeed.

Change requires understanding. Why would anyone change his/her course in life in case of doubt?? Seriously. Understanding brings a fundamental choice: acceptance OR denial of the truth. There is no AND in this case. Denial is typical behaviour for people in a victim role. Please don’t underestimate this comfort zone as you are able to blame anything and anyone but yourself until people are totally fed up with you and your behaviour.

Acceptance of a truth does not impose immediate change. Acceptance is a prerequisite for change. Yet the hurt and pain of this truth is likely to cause change in the foreseeable future. If not then doubt and denial will win from acceptance.

What happens in the intermediate period?? I suppose we make up “the ledger of our relationship”, which is the title of my 10 January 2016 blog. The ledger of that relationship could be your job, your study, your sport, your boy or girlfriend and it contains the pros and cons of staying and leaving. Regretfully, I have learned that hitchhiking is not the best option in that period.

The Gain and Pros are on the “Assets” side of this Ledger. Pain and Cons are on the “Liabilities” side. This Ledger of a Relationship will either become the foundation of Change and a new/revised belief – OR its absence and reinforced (old) beliefs.

Roger Waters – The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking 5.01 AM (1984) 

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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