The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Tough Times

The Upside Of Suffering and Stress

Painful experiences are unavoidable for everyone. Thankfully there are upsides to suffering and stress.

Quickie Question:

If you could live 10 years of your life in total bliss – with NO emotional pain – but in the end, not remember any of it – would you do it?

According to Aristotle, the answer should be NO.

He believes the goal of life is not to live pain-free.

Aristotle believes we are here on this planet to learn lessons to become our best selves.

In fact, Aristotle believes “true happiness” comes from using painful experiences as a miracle growth formula to educate your soul.

Without pain, all you’re having is immediate gratification pleasure – which is fleeting and doesn’t grow you as a person.

In a way the above bliss-chasing scenario is a description of someone who seeks out crack – or seeks staying in bed 24/7.

At the time it feels like you’re avoiding pain and seeking bliss.

But in the longterm you’re NOT enjoying real life — with life’s inevitable ebbs and flows – which give you those needed insights to grow who you are.

Basically, Aristotle believed there was an upside to suffering.

Aristotle believed tough times helped to educate your soul – and inspire you to be stronger and wiser than you might otherwise have been.

All of this reminds me of a J.K. Rowling quote:

It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all -in which case you fail by default. – J.K. Rowling

The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Difficult TimesBasically…

Life has ebbs and flows.

There’s no such thing as endless flow.

Unfortunately life can sometimes feel like ebb, ebb, ebb, brief-flash-of-flow, more ebb, ebb, ebb.

But every ebb always offers the opportunity to think a new thought flavor and feel a new emotion flavor.

The more varied the flavors of life, the more self-developed you will be!

In keeping with this theme…

Aristotle believed the highest form of knowledge is insight.

He even respected the knowledge of insight far more than any knowledge you might memorize from research books!


Because Aristotle recognized that “insight” is the only knowledge which leads to the education of your soul.

And…Aristotle believed the growth of your soul is what brings you your highest happiness.

The Upside Of Suffering and Stress: The Hidden Benefits of Tough TimesFor this reason, Aristotle believed that the reason why so many people are unhappy is that they keep foolishly confusing “pleasure” for “happiness.”

  • “Pleasure” is simply about immediate gratification—of your body/ego.
  • “Happiness” is about seeking longterm growth for yourself as a thriving individual – and is about nourishing your soul/core self.


  • Often it’s our deepest pain which inspires us to grow into our highest self.
  • In other words: There is an upside to suffering. You grow wiser and stronger.


Here’s a short 2 minute inspiring video on this topic – on my NotSalmonTV Youtube Channel –  to motivate you to feel better about the pain in your life.

Think happier. Think calmer.

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