Sometimes feeling pain can be a good thing. You just have to look at it the right way.
So says the billionaire entrepreneur and financier Ray Dalio.
“There is no avoiding pain, especially if you’re going after ambitious goals. Believe it or not, you are lucky to feel that kind of pain if you approach it correctly, because it is a signal that you need to ﬁnd solutions so you can progress,” Dalio says in a July Facebook post.
The key, says Dalio, is to get into a routine of analyzing why you are experiencing pain.
“If you can develop a reflexive reaction to psychical pain that causes you to reflect on it rather than avoid it, it will lead to your rapid learning/evolving,” Dalio writes.
“After seeing how much more eﬀective it is to face the painful realities that are caused by your problems, mistakes, and weaknesses, I believe you won’t want to operate any other way. It’s just a matter of getting in the habit of doing it.”
There is no avoiding pain, especially if you’re going after ambitious goals. Believe it or not, you are lucky to feel that kind of pain if you approach it correctly, because it is a signal that you need to ﬁnd solutions so you can progress.
It can be very challenging to be contemplative while you are suffering, admits Dalio, so do it after the fact.
“Most people have a tough time reﬂecting when they are in pain and they pay attention to other things when the pain passes, so they miss out on the reﬂections that provide the lessons,” Dalio says.
"If you can reflect well while you’re in pain (which is probably too much to ask), great. But if you can remember to reﬂect after it passes, that’s valuable too."
Though Dalio is worth almost $19 billion according to Forbes, he says he knows all this from experience.
The hedge fund he founded, Bridgewater Associates, is the largest in the world, managing $160 billion. But despite its current dominance, the business almost didn’t survive its infancy. Dalio launched Bridgewater Associates in 1975 and did well initially, but he nearly lost all of his money in 1982 after misjudging the direction of the global economy.