Pain vs Gain
Know Your Risk Assessment
Is The Pain Worth The Gain
Life is a constant risk assessment, pain vs gain. This is true even if you don't realize you are doing it.
The assessment is obvious when you decide if you going to try snowboarding or if you will buy a house.
The assessment is subtle when you are deciding if you are going to eat that last donut.
You are constantly running a risk assessment.
The Graph Above
On one line is the possible gain and on the other is the possible pain. You have to decide when the possible risk outweighs the possible reward.
If that line comes quickly for you than you will enjoy a life with a low risk of pain or loss. The trade off is that you also have a low possibility of gain or reward. On the other hand, If you allow a high chance of pain then you open yourself up to a high possibility of gain.
Betting it all can end with losing everything. But, it can also end with you winning it all. It is up to you to decide if the risk is worth the reward.
You have to do this consciously so that you can take ownership of the Pain vs Gain decision.
My Line On The Graph
My Line on this Pain vs Gain Graph
Ask my friends how much pain I am willing to risk and I am sure that many (if not all) will say “a lot” or “too much”. Follow that question up with “Did he gain an equal amount out of it?” and the responses will begin to vary.
They will vary because some of them were beside me at the top of a mountain, standing in knee deep powder. As we stared out at an indescribable view, at the top of a run that takes all words away. Others were there when I dislocated my elbow, an injury that ended my season.
They vary because some have felt the thrill. The life that fills you when staring down an opponent in the ring. While others never made it past the concussions I endured to get there.
Your Line on the Graph
Everyone has a line. A line where the risk outweighs the reward. A line where the pain over powers the gain. It is not up to anyone but you to decide where that line is and then deal with the outcome.
You do not need to accept a high risk of pain to participate in the martial arts. You do not need to bet it all to learn to fight, defend yourself, or anything else. You do not need to live on the edge of disaster to enjoy your life.
You do, however, need to be conscious of the decisions you are making. You should not be caught off guard should an injury occur.
The last thing I will add is this. A good coach will guide you through, minimize the risk, and allow you to multiply your gains.
You can read more about what a good coach is in this article.