Why Suffering is Important

Why Suffering is Important

If happiness is the ultimate goal in life, why are so many unhappy people on this planet? Why must we suffer to achieve that happiness?

I have had a great life, and with every day, it gets better.

One thing that I love doing is bringing leaders in fitness and health to my part of the world.

It has been amazing to bring Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, Nick Tuminello, Anthony Carey, and Dan John to Vancouver.

One reason is I like to show off how incredible Vancouver is, and if I remember correctly, every time these presenters have come to Vancouver, the weather has been good or great.

The second thing is I get to spend an intensive weekend with a leader in the health and fitness industry.

Let me explain. (Here is a photo of Dan taking us through a few drills.)


I like going to conferences, but I find that when there is someone I like, I only get 60 or 90 minutes from them. For someone with 10 to 50 years in the industry, 90 minutes only scratches the surface of their knowledge. That is why I like to bring leaders for two full days to Vancouver. In two days, the leaders can go deeper into their knowledge and experience as Dan did this weekend.

That’s why it was well worth 1.5 years of organizing to get Dan John to come to Vancouver.

I know he has a lot to share, from reading Dan’s books, watching his DVDs, and reading his blog. Ninety minutes would not be enough to learn from Dan, and two days would be much better.

The Importance of Suffering

Suffering makes you understand that you are not in control of your life. It makes you surrender to life so you can learn to let go. Everything in life is a gift, and awareness of this makes you humble and compassionate. You are thankful for everything you have in life. You are not entitled to anything, and being aware of this makes you responsible for your actions.

Here are a few things that hit me from Day 1 with Dan John.

1. “When You Suffer Deeply, You Will Discover What is Important.”

I think this is what injury and pain do; it reminds me of when back pain hit me. The pain takes so much away from you, but with so much gone, it clarifies what is important when you suffer.

When you see what is important, you focus on what you can do and never lose that again.

2. Find the “Killer Apps” in Your Tools

With the tools you use, find the killer application of the tool.

The example he gave was a suspension trainer. Pull-ups are great for pulling movements, but if you cannot knock off 30 or 40, you are not getting much benefit from the pull-up the “Killer Apps” for the suspension trainer are rowing movements.

One other example is the kettlebell. The “Killer Apps” of this tool is teaching hip hinging. The key movements are doing the swing, goblet squat, and getting up.

3. Stop Counting Reps

Dan always goes “5-ish reps.” He focuses on when the move breaks down, then stops the movement. Don’t count reps – when the movement breaks down; it is time to stop.

4. What is Your Mission?

When Dan said this, it got me thinking.

This is what came to my mind:

“To give people the knowledge, confidence, and tools to take on their injury and pain to help them reach their goals and dreams and grow physically and emotionally.”

What do you think?

5. If All You Have Is One Hammer, then It Is the Solution to Everything.

If you are a kettlebell girl, the solution to all fitness goals is kettlebells.

And if you are a yoga guy, then the solution to all fitness goals is yoga.

Try to expand yourself, so you have several hammers and know when to use that hammer at the right time.


6. The Best Thing You Can do for Your Sleep is Fire Clients

Bad clients will stress you out more than anything in business. You need to fire clients fast, which stresses you out. This will improve the quality of your sleep.

7. Make Changes Now for the Long Term

What you do now will change the future of your kids and grandkids. For example, your parents may not have had an education and encouraged you to go to school. You finished college. Your kids are expected to attend college, and your grandkids will finish college.

8. Take the Time to “Mine” Your Life

Take the time to reflect on your life and mine your past. You will learn many new lessons, find what is important and discover your focus.

9. Teach Rolling

Taking the time to teach an athlete how to fall and roll will decrease injuries. I have never heard of this, but this makes so much sense. This is an excellent suggestion.

Dan shared a story where he was working at a school, and the school had an issue with shoulder injuries. He looked at the film of the injuries and how the athletes were falling led to injuries. They were falling with their arms outstretched. Dan taught his athletes how to fall and roll. This led to a decrease in shoulder injuries. Very cool.

That were a few lessons from day one with Dan John. I can’t wait for day two.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – Before I go, here are a few other things from Dan:

  • Diet is simple – water, protein, veggies
  • Poor results could be because of inflammation. Ear infections, zits, and red cheeks could signify inflammation.
  • “Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a duck.” (Sooooo funny.)
  • The harder you train, the harder you need to rest.
  • It all starts with your goal.
  • Get a heart rate monitor and see how your client reacts to different movements.

The Pain Hacker Free DVD