The question is, not “how bad do you want it?”, but “how you would like to suffer?”. Kind of. Sorta.
I remember the moment so clearly. I was standing at the desk with 3 patients needing my attention; a to-do list as long as my arm; and my mobile phone started to ring. It was one of my kids - she sobbed uncontrollably on the other end of the phone. She was exhausted, broken and in need of me; and here I was stuck at work.
Mark Manson's blog post: The Most Important Question of Your Life is a piece of brilliance. It really does clarify what it takes to succeed in every aspect of your life. It is not about the end result, but whether you are willing to endure the journey to get there. How would you like your suffering served?
It also has one major flaw. Not all of us are journeying on our own; and when you are a primary caregiver (let’s be honest, 95% of the time, this mean “mother”), you have to ask a second question: How would I like my kids to suffer?
Here is my shameful confession:
I was willing to suffer a LOT to be a successful business woman. It played a significant part in the ending of my 17 year relationship. I was willing to ditch my commitments to my friend and her business. I pulled out on supporting a woman in birth. I gave up my hobbies. I stopped being there when my kids desperately needed me.
But that phone call was a catalyst for me to see that it wasn’t just about me suffering - it was about all those that I made suffer with me. It was my blind selfishness that made me think that they would thank me in the long run, without ever asking if they were OK with suffering for my goals.
Giving the dream away has been another form of suffering. I lost a huge amount of capital; I lost my income; I lost my sister; but I have also lost watching my kids suffer for my dream.
So I give you the second most important question of your life: Have you asked your loved ones how they would like their suffering served?