I am writing this today in hopes that I can help or save someone. This might be the most important article I have written this year or at all. I need you all to know that pain is necessary. Suffering is optional.

Now, as usual I am going to put it in rewind and tell some back story for context.

Last week I had the honor of taking the Haley Strategic D5 Disruptive Environments Pistol course with Travis Haley and Liam Waring. I’ve written about Travis before, but will sum him up with this:

Pain is Necessary; Travis Haley D5; suffering;

He is an incredible American and human who has a drive to make everyone receptive to his idea better. And not just for shooting.  I will take his courses as long as I am able. They are THAT valuable.

And I am proud to call Liam a friend. He is also a 10/10 grade human being, even if he is British.

So, on Day 1 of the course in the classroom Travis went off topic from shooting a bit (as he does) and made a statement:

Pain is necessary in life.

Suffering is optional.

That struck me. It made me think. And I made a full page note of it in my book. It was that important of a statement.

Take a moment and think about this.

We all have had pain, we all have had bad things happen to us. Some have had horrible things happen to them. It doesn’t mater what it was. It matters how we react to them.

Some of us compartmentalize. Some ignore. And some make it their identity.

When your pain or trauma becomes your identity it holds you back. It keeps you from excelling, and it may just drive the good people I your life away. Those who most likely had nothing to do with the cause of the pain.

I can throw a bunch of cool or cliché meme like (depending on your perspective) Warrior Mindset comments like:

Iron sharpens iron.


Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.

Or a bunch more, but I’ll try an put it in my own words.

If we can acknowledge that Pain is Necessary as a part of life, what do we do with that pain?

We learn to let it go if we want to move forward.

I’ll tell you, I fully agree that it is necessary, living a soft life never did anyone any good. Hard times build hard men and all that. Pain builds character. It builds coping skills, and adaptability and so much more.  

I also am a firm believer that suffering is optional. It took me over 40 years to realize that, but once I let my anger go, life changed. It got so much better.  

shop band packs

What you do with your pain is up to you. How you live is up to you. Letting your pain or trauma dictate your life is also up to you.

There is a cliché saying that I actually like:

The rear view mirror is smaller than the windshield for a reason.

Makes sense if you think about it. Where we are going is more important than where we have been, at least as far as life, success and personal growth.  

When I got home from Travis’s Day 1 class, my phone rang. I was tired, wet, hungry and all I wanted to do was see my son and my dog after I showered and ate. But I knew that the person who was calling at this time if night needed my help, so I answered the phone.  I was correct. They wee having a very difficult time.

After listening for a good amount of time, I slowly said:

Pain is necessary. Suffering is optional.

I won’t go into all of the conversation details, but I will say that there was a near instant change in my friends mood, and tone. They agreed and told me that helped and they were ok now.  

I thanked Travis for giving me the gift of this phrase and thought process the next day. It helped me help a friend.

I urge you to share this article with someone and use and reflect on that phrase if you or a friend is in need of support.

Remember, Pain is necessary in life. What you do with it is up to you.

Collapse inward and make it your identity, let it prevent you from succeeding or having happiness?

Or let it go and move on?

The choice is yours.

Did you see my episode of Table Talk?

Watch it here

Did you miss last week’s log?

Read it here.



Vincere vel mori

C.J. Murphy

November 16, 2023    

Total Performance Sports