How do you define pain?

We often think that pain and pleasure are on opposite sides of a spectrum. What if the good and bad we experience, in business and in our personal lives, isn’t so opposite after all?

Is there such a thing as good pain?

No, I don’t mean pain is good. I’m talking about the tunnel you have to go through to get to the light at the other end: that pain.


We’ve all heard it said, we’re wired to move away from pain and toward pleasure. In its simplest form, I know that’s true. But, how do I define pain and pleasure?

I know people who seem determined to head directly into pain no matter what their other options.

I have to ask myself:

What’s wrong with them?

Were they wired wrong from birth?

Why does it seem they have everything going for them and no matter what…they can figure out how to screw it up?

I was getting therapy on my shoulder when my therapist said, “don’t do it if it hurts.” I said, “it all hurts.” She said something brilliant! Rock solid about the pain/pleasure paradigm. She said, “There’s a difference between good pain and bad pain.”

I got it. We immediately connected because I do know the difference. Maybe you do too.

Very few good things will happen without some good pain. Maybe “growing pains”. If you want to get in shape, it’s going to require some pain. How does that pain relate to the pain and pleasure paradigm?

Successful people in any endeavor are able to see and feel the difference between good pain and bad pain. They don’t quit at the first sign of pain. They evaluate whether it is good pain or bad pain.

All leadership involves therapy. Stretching, developing range of motion, testing muscles that don’t get used very often. Stop thinking it shouldn’t hurt. Stop believing that if there is pain involved you have to move away from it. It’s not true.

If you want to use the Pain and Pleasure paradigm for your benefit and to develop your team, you have to realize that pleasure lies just beyond a degree of good pain.

Don’t live in the pain but be willing to pass through it in your process to change and on the way to pleasure.

Everything you are dreaming of is on the other side of some good pain.

About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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