Episode #748

June 3, 2023

Sometimes it has to hurt.



I have tried all the methods of opening a jar. There is the “tap on the lid before you open it” method. This method loosens the vacuum seal and only works some of the time. 

If you are at a higher altitude the pressure inside the jar is greater than your air pressure. If you don’t have to reseal the jar you can poke a hole in the lid with an awl to release the pressure and the lid comes right off.

In my kitchen I have a jar opener gripper pad which provides a non-slip purchase on the lid. This tool will often overcome the pressure difference.

Sometimes, even with the gripper, the lid is just plain stubborn. In this case my father taught me to “muscle through the pain.” When twisting on the lid, there will come a point where the pain tells you that you will fail. Push past that pain a little farther and the lid will come loose.

Keep your eye on the goal. If the jar contains your dinner, you have a built-in motivation to open it. If you open the jar you will satisfy your hunger and, in the long term, live to open another jar. This is justification of the mental effort to find the right tool. It is also reason to suffer a little pain in the task.

The reward of a task will guide you through the decisions you make during the task. If the mental effort of solving a problem is so great that it is painful you might decide to solve the problem with a less elegant, more physically painful means.

I had a goal of planting a tree. The ground on my property is very hard. I thought and thought about how to dig the hole. No solution came and my head was spinning, so I gave up thinking. I dug the hole a little at a time. I used a pick axe, then filled the hole with water. A few hours later I pick-axed some more. More water, more axe, etc. and the hole was finally dug. Some months later I had another tree to plant. I remembered the pain and fatigue of the first tree. Out of the blue it occurred to me that a jackhammer was the right tool for the job. I spent the money on a jackhammer. The hole was dug in a few minutes with very little physical pain. 

Sometimes it does not have to hurt.

Pain is a warning from your body. Your body does not want to be injured, so it gives you plenty of notice. Cross-fit taught me that you have to tear down the muscles in order to build them up. My muscles did not like being torn down. Cross-fit was painful. But the result was a stronger, more healthy body. No pain, no gain.

Life is a perpetual process of mitigating pain. Pain is not bad, in and of itself. It simply must be weighed against the risk and benefit of experiencing it.

“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

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“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

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  1. Claire Ratfield June 1, 2023
    • Rick Thues June 2, 2023
  2. Victor Spindler June 2, 2023
  3. Carol+Ross June 3, 2023

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