Choose Your Suffering - Be Willing to Pay the Price for Success!

Phil Gerbyshak

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One day when my friend Todd and I were having lunch, he let me know the best piece of marital advice he ever received. He said “Phil, It’s up to you. Choose your suffering. ”

“Well, what the heck does that mean, ” I wondered aloud. Thankfully, Todd answered. “Choose your suffering. You know, everything has a price, and if you’re willing to pay it, it’s going to be tough, but you can do it. Just choose the suffering that’s right for you, accept it, and then live with it. ”

“A-ha! A price for everything! That’s brilliant! Thanks Todd!” and I wrote down his little nugget, to think more about one day. Choose your suffering. Pay the price for success. Commit to a worthwhile goal. If it’s good for you, it’s going to hurt. Let’s dig into this a little more, shall we.

Commitment: the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines commitment as “the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled. ” What does that really mean? I would say that making a commitment to something means you make a decision, and you stick to it, no matter how much it hurts, no matter what it costs, you just stick to it.

This can’t be too bad. Let’s see, that requires accountability, either to yourself, your spouse, your boss, or whomever you share your goal or ideas with.

That also requires integrity, to tell people when you’re falling away from your commitment. You also have to be honest with yourself.

Lastly, that requires discipline. You have to be strong enough to hang in there, and do whatever it takes. Pay the price for success!

OK, I get it, I’ll commit tomorrow. WRONG! The only thing you can commit is the right now! You have no promise of tomorrow; you can’t change yesterday, so commit the right now. Make the decision, and just do it!

So what do you gain by making this commitment, by being willing to choose your own suffering, by paying the price? Let me tell you what you get if you don’t commit: You get something you don’t want. You get something someone else chose for you. Nobody listens to the new guy, do they? Take the time to commit to something long term, start achieving your goals, developing those long-term relationships, and dedicate your life to something hard.

You’re more apt to get what you want if you start by understanding there is a price to pay for this, and by realizing there’s a price to pay for doing nothing. Everything, even nothing has a price. Are you willing to pay for nothing?

Phil Gerbyshak leads a team as manager of an IT Help Desk in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component for in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil's personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders’ fantastic book Love is the Killer App: “Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow. " Feel free to contact Phil at or call 414.640.7445 anytime.


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