Finding joy in pain

During my Civil Services training in Mussoorie, an especially memorable trek was to a place called Rabbit Farm, though we neither saw any rabbits nor any farm.

During this trek, people grumbled especially loudly — the hours of climbing and descending sharp slopes left our feet badly bruised and for some people, the skin started peeling off.

Once we reached the destination, some participants refused to walk further and were given a car ride back. The rest of us hobbled back, eloquently cursing the organizers.

Yet, among my many training experiences, this is among those I remember distinctly — and fondly.

All the pleasant experiences — the nice dinners, fun activities — I do cherish them, but nothing comes close to the treks and climbing we did.

The easy experiences in life are easily forgotten — conquering challenges is what we cherish.

When we do hard things, naturally, our mind and body resist. A part of our brain needs instant gratification at every step.

But instant gratification is not the route to happiness. I am not suggesting that we spurn all pleasure or seek pain for the sake of it. However, pushing for any deeply cherished goal will involve some pain and sacrifice.

Pain is not our enemy.

Pain is the path.

– Rajan

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