An internist has watched thousands of patients struggle with every kind of painful condition imaginable, leaving him at times “breathless” at the suffering they have endured. He has shared what he believes to be the most important lesson learned: while humans may suffer tremendously, the ability to endure pain can be stronger. Alex Lickerman, M.D., a clinical associate of medicine at the University of Chicago believes our capacity to survive and do well in the face of hardship is as measurable a quantity as the strength of our biceps – and like our biceps can also be strengthened.
“Learning to accept pain, for example really does make pain easier to withstand, yet sometimes only slightly. But when added to a fierce determination to accomplish an important mission, as well as to an expectation that accomplishing that mission will require the feeling of even more pain, strength often appears that makes large problems seem abruptly small.”
“An undefeated mind isn’t one one that never feels discouraged or despairing; it’s one that continues on in spite of it. Even when we can’t find a smile to save us, even when we’re tired beyond all endurance, possessing an undefeated mind doesn’t fill itself with false hope, but with hopes to find real solutions, even solutions it may not want or like. But also to get up day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade – even over the course of a lifetime – and attack the obstacles in front of us again and again….” Huffpost Healthy Living 2/7/13