No Pain, No Gain

Adebola Alabi
6 min readDec 2, 2018

This was often a common phrase that my Dad used to motivate me as a young boy when I was preparing for my college entrance examination. He would tell me that the pain I endured reading in the sometimes-unconducive environment without electricity would be the future gain that I would reap when I start my career down the line. He would tell me to keep studying my books even when the everything within me is telling me to go and hang out with my friends, watch the TV or do something else that is totally different from academic-related activities. I listened to him, most of the time then, and true to his words, I reaped the reward with a great career that I have today as an engineer.

In college, I used the same phrase to encourage myself whenever the going got tough. Whenever any particular course became tough and challenging, the phrase “No pain, No gain” naturally comes to my mind, and I will dig in, study several hours, take tutorial classes until I master the subject. That helped me to handle challenging subjects like Calculus, Electrical Circuit theory, and Thermodynamics. The simple pain in those college days involved not being able to hang out with friends or attend any recreational activities. Those sacrifices paid off, I endured the pain, and I’m benefitting from the gain that my career has brought to me.

Also, while in college, I dabbled into the world of weightlifting. The motivation behind this was all about my outward appearance, I wanted to develop a well-built body frame. I was already a tall guy, building my muscles seems the next logical thing in my young mind then. I tagged along with some friends, we will wake up early in the morning, run miles on the college field, lift a weight, control what we ate and so on. I found the process of weight lifting as painfully stressful with no real benefit to me. Needless to say, I quit after a few days into it. In this case, I couldn’t endure the pain and as a result, I did not reap the gain.

Whenever you set out to achieve something meaningful, you may experience your share of challenges, obstacles, and difficulties as you move forward with your plans. Those are the pains that you need to endure before you can reap any benefits or gain from your endeavor. For a student, the pain you may need to go through may involve sacrificing some fun time and devote more time to studying so that you could reap the benefits of graduating with good grades. If you are in a career and you are looking for growth, you may need to endure some pain in your current position, prove yourself, add value to your business, and keep being your best before you can reap the result of a promotion. As a business owner, you work many hours to keep your business open, that is the pain that you need before you could see your business grow. If you are in debt and you are working to pay off your debt, you may need to sacrifice some temporary comfort or work more hours before you could derive the pleasure of living debt free. If you want to lose weight, you may need to exercise and sometimes evaluate the kind of food you eat before you could start seeing results. Whatever the case may be, every worthwhile achievement will sometime require you to go through some moment of pain before you could secure the applicable benefits. In order words, you must be willing to pay the price.

Many people are not willing to endure the temporary pain or sacrifice, they want instant results. I was not ready to subject myself to the exercise rigors and weightlifting that would have helped me to build my muscles, and I did not get my desired result. I studied hard and sacrificed lots of fun times in college and I was able to graduate with good grades.

Are you aiming to achieve something big? Is it taking longer than you planned? Are you going through some pains in the process? If you want what you want bad enough, you must be ready to pay the price and go through the pain before you can get the prize. Here are some tips that should help you endure when you are going through some temporary discomfort to reach your goals:

1. Sacrifice pays off: It may take time, sweat, and with some disappointments from time to time, but I have observed that sacrifice always pays off. Also, the more pain you are ready to endure sometimes also translates to the higher the reward you will get at the end. Most of the things that we require, if we are willing to make the necessary sacrifice, we will get results. For example, if a student is willing to learn as much as possible, he will be able to raise his grades. If an athlete is willing to practice as often as possible, he will be able to build his stamina and improve his skills. If we are willing to put in the time and efforts required, our hard work will eventually pay off.

2. Good things come to those who wait: Patience is a virtue that we must all learn to cultivate. It is not easy to wait when we want something so badly. When you are working to build your company, you want an immediate result in terms of a high number of customers paying for your products or services. When you are a highly driven individual, you want to be rewarded with promotions on the job, if you are not making the progress that you desire on the job, you may end up becoming frustrated.
Patience can be difficult when you need to wait especially when you don’t have an exact date that you will get what you desire. When it seems, you are stuck or stagnant in a position, the best way to keep your head high while waiting for new possibilities is to continuously find ways to learn and add value to yourself. Basically, find what you can do that can count towards career progression. As you get better day by day, you are positioning yourself for future opportunities when the situation will eventually turn around.

3. There is a silver lining: If at the moment all you can see are stumbling blocks and challenges on your path to achieving your goals. If you are going through some temporary pain in order to create a more desired future. When you are working on something that is easily achievable, maybe mowing your lawn or filling a bucket with water. You can easily see your progress and therefore stay motivated until completion. On the other hand, when you are working on more challenging tasks that will be impactful to your life, it may be difficult to see or measure progress. Important things in life don’t always come speedily, it takes time for you to notice your progress, but you still have to keep working even though you are not noticing the progress you are making. Drip by drip is how progress comes for highly important activities in our lives. You are making progress by taking one more step forward, knocking on one more door, learning one more lesson, and making one more call. If you put mind on the final goal, you will realize that indeed there is a silver lining at the end of all the pain and difficulties you went through. You have paid the price, you now have the freedom to enjoy the prize.

Originally published at on December 2, 2018.



Adebola Alabi

A Certified Financial Education Instructor. Mission is to help bring out the best in others. Thanks for reading my work. Check my website