Walking Through Fire: Learning One Subtle Skill To Make It Through The Long-Haul

29.09.20 12:33 PM By Heather Kleinschmidt

Our brains and bodies are built to protect us from things that hurt us. We have reflexes and intuitions that kick in whenever we start walking through fire.

The thing we need to learn is how to discern between the pain that’s worth it, and the pain that points to something that’s leading us somewhere we don’t want to end up.

Warning signs and red flags speak to us in subtle ways.

  • Hey [me], you’re being taken advantage of here.
  • Hey [me], you’re pursuing something that’s a distraction — it’s a substitute for the real thing.
  • Hey [me], what you’re avoiding is important — you’ll regret it if you don’t act.

We need to become more sensitive to that pain.


There’s a voice that lures when challenges and friction hit.

  • Hey [me], do you really want to deal with this? Maybe it’s time to cut and run. Find something easier.
  • Hey [me], this is beyond your depth — you don’t know how to navigate. Time to get out of here and back to what’s familiar.
  • Hey [me], you don’t know the answer. So don’t risk it — just stay here.

We need to learn how to keep our sights set on the destination, in order to not be deterred by the friction on the way.

What are you building? Why are you doing this in the first place? How is this choice to push through going to multiply your future harvest?

Even the worst difficulties can be re-framed.

The re-framing doesn’t make them easier. It doesn’t make them OK or acceptable. It certainly doesn’t make them more pleasant to endure…

But it refocuses you in a way that invigorates and fuels, so you can keep going and do the things that truly matter.

This is how the most important changes happen.

This is how we make the world better.

With one small step at a time, undeterred.


This is the last article in a four-part series centered around the idea of Meaningful Pain. The first three topics can be found below:

Each week, I do a deep-dive into the question of living meaningfully.

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