Seeking No Pain or Challenging Toward Success?

James Dean "Giant"

James Dean “Giant” (Photo credit: ElizaPeyton)

I used to get picked on quite a lot as a child and even more in my teen years.  I don’t reflect upon my high school years with happiness like many of my readers.  In all fairness, I had a big mouth and not so big muscle to back it up. I spent many of my high school days being escorted from one class to another.  The background on this is for another day, but it’s fair to assume I messed with the wrong dudes. I remember one particular incident because of the profound change it had, and still has on me.  My friend and I pulled into the high school parking lot to pick up his brother after a football game.  As I pulled into the my spot, I noticed some of the guys that had caused me trouble; and they noticed me.  With the sound of The Clash (Should I stay or should I go?) ringing in my ear, I decided to stay.  I got out of the car to a punch in my chest.  Something in me changed.  I didn’t snap and go crazy like on a cheesy movie.  I realized, although it wasn’t pleasant, I handled it.  I returned the punch to the side of his head.  I’m not sure I caused him much damage either, but he wasn’t expecting it.  Clearly outnumbered, and in serious trouble, I had nowhere to go.  Instead of doom, however, we were simply asked to leave, which we kindly obliged.

Things were different after that. I faced a challenge we all must face in life.  Whether it be high school antics, career changes, or major life decisions, we are all faced with a choice to live defensively or offensively.
We can choose to avoid pain and stay in the background or choose to challenge the causes of our pain and take control.
We typically compartmentalize areas of our life were we are willing to face challenges and some areas where all we wish for is an avoidance of pain.  I recently wrote about the battle between comfort and success.  While it may seem comfortable to avoid challenging those things that bother us, it may be necessary to move toward your goal of being awesome.  Impulsiveness and rashness are not to be confused with challenging.  If you are living intentionally, you will challenge intentionally. Assess the situation for worse case scenarios, alternatives, and the “up-side” to a challenge.
I gained valuable perspective after that incident in High School.  Knowing that I can change situations by appropriately challenging those attempting  or actually controlling the environment gives me the confidence and eagerness to learn and to lead.  My ideas may not always be the best avenue to success, but sometimes they are.
What are you going to challenge in the new year?

About Rocco De Leo

I am Rocco DeLeo. For years, I felt like I had so much more to offer the world than simply going to work and coming home. While I've always found my work to be engaging and rewarding, I knew I had much more to offer. Over the last few years, I've started focusing on personal development, my relationship with God, and what to do next. I write and podcast (And Dad Makes 7 Podcast) at about this journey. Mostly, I enjoy sharing the struggle, but sometimes I find some wisdom to share. My wife Jamie and I are raising a blended family with 5 children. Thankfully she stays home. When I'm not creating, I'm usually running trails, fishing with my kids, or enjoying a cigar in my backyard.

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