Pain is Information: Embrace it

Marvin Liao
2 min readAug 3, 2022

I have a tween at home and like many other parents experiencing this, it is certainly educational. I’m personally having a hard time adjusting to her growing up. I say things that unintentionally make her mad. And then she says some pretty harsh things to me as only your kid can. So painful. But this pain is helpful in the long run. It’s an indicator that I’ve messed up somewhere and that I need to fix it.

Pain can be physical or emotional. Pain is a guide. It forces you to adjust your ways or shows you something that worked well before no longer does. Nothing like thinking you are good at fighting and then get punched in the face in a fight.

It shows up in your family life. It shows up in your business life. Losing money from a deal or investment is oh so painful. These are signals that you are doing something wrong. It is a critical piece of feedback on your life’s direction and plan. Yet from our relatively cushy lives we are taught to hide from pain. To reduce it. And this is why so many of us live mediocre and unsatisfying lives.

Pain is reality. You have to Face the reality. Don’t hide from it. Dig into it. Understand why it’s happening.

A saying I’ve adopted is “Better a harsh truth, than a kind lie.” Never lie to yourself, as this just delays the pain, which just delays the inevitable which makes it even more painful later on.

When you embrace the pain and use it for the signal that it is to get better, you inevitably get stronger and better. Just like exercising at the gym or doing some very physical sport.

As the US Marine Corp motto goes:

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”



Marvin Liao

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything!