That’s the phrase that most comes to mind when I think about the kinds of decisions we all make every day.
But really it should more accurately be phrased – “choose your suffering.”
There is no such thing as a free lunch, everything has a cost. If you want to be successful, no matter the context, you must choose the suffering you are most willing to endure. That is the most important decision you will make today, tomorrow and everyday for the rest of your life.
If you stop paying the cost of success you will by default pay the cost of failure.
In my business the cost of success is in the long and relentless hours of reaching out to my clients, cold calling, and pounding the pavement. It’s hard, unforgiving work, but if I don’t do it I won’t make the crucial contacts that I need to make the sales that pay the bills. And the cost of failure is far more painful than the work demanded to be a success.
It’s the same in my personal life. I’m a triathlete in my spare-time. (I don’t really have “spare-time”, I’ve scheduled it all.) The mental discipline and physical pain of running a triathlon is real. But before I started I was 43lbs overweight, hypertensive and suffering from sleep apnea. That pain, and the thought of it’s eventual endgame was far worse than the little bit of muscle fatigue I experience from time to time now.
So yah – the most important decision you will ever make is to choose your suffering because to be successful you will suffer, that’s a given. But the pain and suffering of failure is far worse.