Rabbi Ben Hei says, “According to the pain is the gain.”
— Pirkei Avot 5:21 (second century)
NO PAINS, NO GAINS.
If little labour, little are our gains:
Man’s fate is according to his pains.
— Hesperides 752 (1650)
Industry need not wish, as Poor Richard says, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains, without pains …
— as reprinted in Benjamin Franklin’s The Way to Wealth (1758)
Jane Fonda didn’t invent it. Neither did that guy at the gym you think is god.
The concept has been lying around waiting to become popular slang for almost 2000 years. It didn’t refer to matters physical, either. It referred to your soul, to charity, to work in general. It was never intended to be taken literally.
Just because words rhyme, doesn’t make them a concept, doesn’t mean they relate to each other. Or that it’s a concept that applies to your aching body rather than your dark, mean-spirited soul.
Pain is a body’s way of warning us something is wrong. Ignore it at your own risk. Acknowledging there are minor pains we all typically ignore because we know what they are, know they aren’t important, there are plenty of others you ignore at your peril.
How about the pain in your chest that signals heart trouble? How about that pain in your breast that says “don’t ignore that lump?” Or the shooting pain down one leg when you knock your spine out of alignment? How about the searing one when you dislocate a shoulder? Or the one, accompanied by an ugly snap which says “Hey, you just tore your Achilles tendon!”
Before you go ignoring a pain, make sure you know what that pain is trying to tell you. Try not to replace thinking with a motto.
I hate clichés. They are the latest fad in the long advance of stupidity.