Toughness for your heart and body: Success in life, dating and martial arts

I was 17 when life hit me in the face. I realised I wasn’t a child anymore and I had to fend for myself. It turned me into a coward.

I was 20 the first time I got punched in the face. I quit. It was my second time in the boxing gym and I hated myself for days afterwards.

Two types of pain. But one way to deal with it. If you don’t, you’ll never achieve true happiness, love, courage and success.

This is not typical self help fluff. This is for the times when “Hey hold your chin up!” doesn’t cut it. A motivational talk won’t do a thing in many cases. This article will tell you, not Why, but How.

How can one person keep fighting with a broken arm when another gives up at a broken nail?

The difference is how they handle the pain.

Injury vs. Pain

Before we begin, let’s make a distinction. The injury is what happens to us (a divorce, a broken arm). Pain is what makes us suffer. To most people, they are one and the same. The key is separating the injury from the pain.

Isn’t pain what many of us suffer from – either emotional or physical? It is impossible to go through life without suffering some emotional injury. Some people don’t suffer physical pain daily, but a lot do, due to an illness or an injury.

How do we approach it? How do we reduce it? More importantly, how do we overcome it as an obstacle to our goals?

Step one: For the Physical

There is a professional boxer at my gym, and I was sparring him once. I hit him with my best shots and he kept coming and I was a lot bigger than he was. It amazed me. I asked for his secret, and the answer was surprisingly simple. “I just don’t react to it. I think about, I acknowledge it, but I don’t feel it.”

And that’s it. He doesn’t feel the pain. Not to say that it isn’t there, but he doesn’t let it affect him, nor does he react to it. Does that mean he can’t be hurt? No. He has been knocked out in professional bouts before. But the injury stopped him, not the pain. This bears repeating: The injury is what happens to you. The pain is what you feel about the injury.

Step one: For the Emotional

This applies in exactly the same way to emotional pain as well. In fact emotional pain is easier to deal with. Let’s say you lose your job. The injury is the loss of income and stability. The pain is the fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of having to survive on savings, fear of what your spouse would say; the list goes on.

Once you’ve separated the two, the rest becomes much easier.

To read the rest of the article, and finally free yourself from suffering, visit the free Urban Monk website.