#1217 Bliss, Pain & Unicorns on Everest

Pearl Bites Part II

In our last +1, we talked about my chigger-triggers (hah and yeehah! 🤠) and how to alchemize life’s inevitable “inconveniences” into Pearl Bites.

Right after finishing that one I thought about Kelly McGonigal’s wisdom on climbing Everest and the inevitable cold, crazy nights an explorer encounters when going for that summit.

Then I wondered if we’d already done a +1 on that before so I searched our little database here at Optimize HQ and, lo and behold, we DID feature her wisdom already.

It was in a +1 appropriately called Unicorns and Where to Find Them. (← Hah. I must say that’s a pretty good one. 🤓)

As it turns out, RIGHT BEFORE that +1, we also riffed on Joseph Campbell’s parallel wisdom on pain and bliss.

Those were +1s #528 and #529. This is +1 #1,218.

So…

I’m going to take the liberty of dusting off those wisdom-gems and serving them up again.

First, Joseph Campbell.

He tells us: “If your bliss is just fun and excitement, then you are on the wrong path. Sometimes pain is bliss.”

Noted.

Now, Kelly McGonigal.

She tells us: “Everyone has an Everest. Whether it’s a climb you choose, or a circumstance you find yourself in, you’re in the middle of an important journey. Can you imagine a climber scaling the wall of ice at Everest’s Lhotse Face and saying, ‘This is such a hassle’? Or spending the first night in the mountain’s ‘death zone’ and thinking, ‘I don’t need this stress’? The climber knows the context of his stress. It has personal meaning to him; he has chosen it. You are most liable to feel like a victim of the stress in your life when you forget the context the stress is unfolding in. ‘Just another cold, dark night on the side of Everest’ is a way to remember the paradox of stress. The most meaningful challenges in your life will come with a few dark nights.”

She continues: “The biggest problem with trying to avoid stress is how it changes the way we view our lives, and ourselves. Anything in life that causes stress starts to look like a problem. If you experience stress at work, you think there’s something wrong with your job. If you experience stress in your marriage, you think there’s something wrong with your relationship. If you experience stress as a parent, you think there’s something wrong with your parenting (or your kids). If trying to make a change is stressful, you think there’s something wrong with your goal.”

That’s Today’s +1.

Remember your Everest. And, remember that sometimes pain is bliss.

And those inevitable bug bites? Let’s turn them into Pearls.

TODAY.

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial