Strawberry, Pain, Greatness and Destructive Behavior
Pain is an interesting component of our lives. It is at the root of so much of our psychology, from thoughts to interpretations (accurate or not), coping, conscious decision-making and behavior.
Sometimes pain inspires us to resilience and healthy accomplishment, other times it is crippling and leads us down the path of destruction or self-destruction. It is always influencing us, always, in some way, a motivator of mindset, reactions and responses.
This all came back to me when I recently came across a quote.
“It was my pain that led me to my greatness, and my greatness would eventually lead me to my destructive behavior.”
Pain, if managed well, can certainly drive people to greatness and it’s also true that same pain can lead to destructive and self-destructive behavior.
The quote above was communicated by Darryl Strawberry. If you’ve heard of him, then you know of his great talent, skill and start of his Major League Baseball career. He looked like an all-time great in the making yet drug use and abuse eventually cost him his potential and greatness.
His addiction and thoughts of “what could have been” despite his very solid career are now part of his story that he uses for good in helping other people.
Let’s briefly examine Strawberry’s quote, for the purpose of educating and helping other people who might themselves be in the midst of struggle, although not necessarily with substance use and abuse.
This query is not so much about addiction but the pain we experience, its impact on us, how we “react,” in coping and how that often causes us and those around us additional pain.
With success and pain that has not been addressed and managed well, if not healed, there comes the likelihood that unhealthy impulses and poor coping decisions develop and become the norm, leading to a degradation of someone’s professional and personal life.
It’s why learning about our psychology and practicing and skillfully addressing pain and preventing or overcoming dangerous habits is crucial to our best lives and the well-being of those around us. We can prevent spectacular personal and professional crashes.
When our decisions and habits become a blind spot or errors, either isolated or repetitive ones that we’re aware of, yet are deciding not to stop (or feel we can’t stop), we run the risk of damaging our lives in many extreme ways, including the quality of our name and reputation.
The questions to ask are “what do I need to learn about myself and how can I work through and past it successfully and forever?” Developing clarity over what could prove helpful and pursuing it with intrinsic motivation can lead to healing, breakthrough and strong “insurance” against more pain.
Michael Toebe is a founder of Reputation Quality, Reputation Interviews and Quality Stress Response, serving individuals and organizations. He is also the author of “Your Reputation Signature: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Protect, Restore and Reconstruct It.”