Less Pain for You

blocks with letters scattered around but one group arranged to say "habits"

One of the books I’ve been reading this week is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I can recommend it. There are many great ideas and stories there.

The purpose of this post is to share one idea that made me laugh out loud.

The Truth About Talent is the title for chapter 18. In it, James outlines a series of questions to help you hone in on the area you should focus on, based on your personality and genetics, to have the best chance of success. He mentions that you can find your niche by noticing that thing that you do that causes you less pain then it causes others!

The mark of whether you are made for a task is not whether you love it but whether you can handle the pain of the task easier than other people.

~James Clear, Atomic Habits

I found that hilarious but real. It’s another way of finding your strengths. Usually, the idea is to list what people often ask you to do. Or you list things others often appreciate that you do. It’s a way of recognizing something that is so obvious to other people but which you find so easy as to render it invisible to you.

The work that hurts you less than it hurts others is the work you are made to do.

~James Clear, Atomic Habits

Based on our natural inclination to compare ourselves to others, it becomes straightforward to remember and to recognize such tasks. I found James Clear’s questions in this section helped me realize several qualities I hadn’t entirely clarified for myself. Although his wording made me giggle, the question can help with identifying essential distinctions to consider in career choice.

Try it and see if the idea helps you become more aware of your own unique combination of personal qualities that should be a part of your professional brand and daily focus in your work.

Sports, Integrity, Life

variety of sporting equipment laid out on the grass

Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose —it teaches you about life. -Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King has it right regarding sports teaching about character and life. The player has the opportunity to face the anxiety (aka fear) and respond with integrity (aka love). Doesn’t mean they will but it also doesn’t mean they won’t learn to respond with integrity eventually even if a hard fall is required first. People are always learning even if they don’t intend to. Life is one big experiment that way.

Sports aren’t the only places to learn to face the fear and respond with integrity, of course. Lessons come for everyone through one life arena or another: family, school, health, relationships. We can choose to be authentic in our daily interactions and activities. There are opportunities regularly for each of us to choose integrity and good reasons for doing so even if it means “losing” in the interim. The biggest reasons for doing so are to know your true self, to stretch your own personal limits, and to live the whole-hearted* beauty of an authentic life.

Emotions as Pointers

a dog pointing in the field

What if emotions aren’t given so much emphasis? What if they simply indicate the way we’ve been focusing our thoughts?

Maybe emotions are just data to consider and if that’s true, maybe we can intentionally lead our emotions where we want them to be.

Have you ever noticed that you are able to muster up certain emotions you want? How did you do it?

Have you ever seen an athlete prepare mentally for their event? Or thought of how an actor might have prepared for an emotional scene? How do you think they do it?

Do you think it might be possible to get ahead of emotions? If so, what an advantage it would be to be able to plan in advance how we would prefer to feel and know exactly how to hang out there more often?