I go to the gym every morning Monday through Friday. I was watching someone on a treadmill the other day. He was in basic good shape, but I noticed that while he was walking fast on the treadmill, he was also holding himself up with his arms. I smiled because I understood what he was doing and why.

Walking fast feels good. It makes you feel like you’re really working hard. But walking fast on a treadmill – especially uphill – burns. The thighs feel like they have tiny flames inside of them and you want to stop. If you take a little pressure off of them by holding yourself up, you can avoid the burn.

But if you do that, you’re also not making any progress. In order to make progress, you have to learn to tolerate the burn. The thighs (and heart, and lungs, etc.) have to get used to being pushed beyond their current capacity. Yes, you might have to slow down, but only until your body adapts. Holding yourself up robs your body of what it wants to do – help you do more, faster.

The same can be said of success, of any kind. If one of your goals this year is to make more money or advance in your career, you’re going to have to let yourself feel the burn. Getting up half an hour to an hour earlier so you can read in your field, meditate, exercise, etc. will not feel good, especially at first. Coming in to the office early and/or staying late won’t feel good. Doing more work for the same pay so you can prove to the higher-ups that you deserve a raise won’t feel good. Making sweeping changes to your business or organization won’t always feel good. All these things burn.

But the burn is what you need to feel in order to adapt. The burn provokes (and reflects) all the other changes that are going on inside that will allow you to do more and be more. Don’t run from the burn. Lean into it. Feel it. Learn to seek it out.

When you really start feeling uncomfortable you’ll know that you’re about to make a breakthrough.


Raven B. Kushner is a mortgage loan officer based in Los Angeles County, serving all of California. For more information, or to be pre-approved, please contact her at (626) 538-7818 or

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