We’ve all heard the expression “no pain, no gain”. This is especially thrown around by weightlifters who like a little pain with their workouts as it usually means they will gain some muscle when their body can repair things.
But does more pain mean more gain? Well, aging means encountering more pain. And generally the oldest have encountered the most pain. In another general way, aging usually means that more wisdom is encountered along the way and that the older you are, the wiser you are. So more pain might mean more gain.
What about childbirth? That is supposed to be a universally painful experience for women. Do women become smarter than men because of it? That doesn’t have an obvious answer. Maybe they become more emotionally intelligent because of the birth. I’ve heard it said that women bond more with their children than men do. This might be their newfound emotional intelligence at work.
Childbirth also brings up painkillers. Do women that use an epidural for childbirth, become less emotionally intelligent than their sisters who had a more natural childbirth? That doesn’t seem to be the case, but it is interesting to think about.
And really doesn’t too much pain mean less gain? I’m talking about the nasty effects that go under the name post traumatic stress disorder. Much therapy is needed whenever PTSD comes into play. And all this therapy manages at best is to come close to your original baseline. So there is such a thing as too much pain for gain.
This might explain why those who seek pain aren’t necessarily doing the best. We’ve all heard of S&M play and this might explain why the participants are not doing better than the rest of us. So again there is a disconnect when there is too much pain involved.
But is it possible to endure just enough pain, on a regular basis, to keep on improving?
I would like to offer up James Bond as an example. Like all spies, the risk of torture is always around. And Bond has been captured a lot. Which means he has been tortured a lot for the information he holds. Since this pain hasn’t led to obvious PTSD, I think he can be held out as an example. But what has been the gain for Bond?
It’s obvious that he has become almost superhuman. He has endured ridiculous chases and fights that would defeat a lesser man and yet he still keeps going. He has figured out ways to bring down the most carefully hatched plans of the greatest villains. Really, he is a minor superhero.
So, within reason, I think more pain means more gain.