After over a decade of conscious attempts at personal growth, it is abundantly clear to me what the two most important catalysts of self development are:


They say experience is the best teacher. But my personal tutor has been pain; the more painful, the better. In the presence of pain, you have two choices; grow or die. If you are not growing in response to your pain, you are dying. If you are not hopeful, you are in despair. If you are not gaining, you are losing. If you don’t have faith, doubt rules over you. Pause to think about that pain; if it is not making you stronger or better, it is killing you. There is no neutrality to pain. The greater the pain, the harder it is to be neutral. The greatest treasures of your life lie just beneath your greatest pain. Only those who evolve in response to pain survive. It’s survival of the fittest!


If your pain leads you upwards, it leads to knowledge. And we all have heard about knowledge.

Knowledge is power.

For lack of knowledge my people perish.

As a man thinketh in his heart (self-knowledge), so is he.

You shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

What you don’t know can kill you. What you know can also save your life.

You are severely limited by your lack of knowledge.

An example: humanity battles with many kinds of diseases because we do not KNOW how to cure them.

You cannot become what you do not know. In order to escape your PAIN, you must KNOW how to.

Pain forces knowledge. In the absence of knowledge, there is death.

Written by Manny

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. This reminds me of an argument I was involved in recently about role models. And one guy opined that the best advice you can get about building a successful business or marriage is not from a successful man or woman or successfully married couple, but from one who has failed in his business or marriage. The failures are the ones who’ll better direct your path. Pain breeds better knowledge than bliss.
    Thanks, Manny.

    • It doesn’t always follow. Some people with failed business or failed marriages become so bitter instead of knowledgeable. They start every speech with ,’ All men are…’ or ‘ All women are…’ or ‘Marriage is crap…’

      However, I believe one’s outlook/attitude while in pain will determine if one pursued knowledge or not. Some pursue knowledge in order to get more clarity in their situation in order to make the best out of a bad situation. Some prefer to wallow in their pain and it becomes a slippery path towards self doubt and other destructive patterns of behaviour.

  2. Philosophical and true.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Some of the purpose of life is to learn from pain

  4. I love love love this.

    Pain. No better and faster trigger for growth. For me, at least.

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