From John C. Maxwell’s great book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, The Law of Pain may not seem on the surface as a way to grow and yet it may be one of the most powerful ways to grow. We learn from experience and that includes experiences that we may label as good or bad experiences. John reflects that “everyone has a pain file. You’ve got yours; I’ve got mine. I may not have experienced anything as traumatic as [what you have], but I’ve had my share of failures and negative experiences. Here are just a few that have become gains in growth over the long run: The pain of inexperience. The pain of Incompetence. The pain of disappointment. The pain of conflict. The pain of change. The pain of bad health. The pain of hard decisions. The pain of financial loss. The pain of relationship losses. The pain of traveling. The pain of responsibility.”

Then John turns to the key to the Law of Pain: How to turn your pain into gain!

He lists five actions to embrace

1. Choose a Positive Life Stance. “Life Stance” is a term used to describe people’s overall frame of reference–the set of attitudes, assumptions, and expectations people hold about themselves, other people, and the world in general.

2. Embrace and Develop Your Creativity. When you have a bad experience, instead of letting it discourage you or make you angry, try to find a way to let it prompt your creativity.

3. Embrace the Value of Bad Experiences. Where there is no struggle, there is no progress. Facing difficulties is inevitable. Learning from them is optional.

4. Make Good Changes After Learning From Bad Experiences. The next time you find yourself in the midst of a bad experience, remind yourself that you are on the cusp of an opportunity to change and grow.

5. Take Responsibility For Your Life. You need to recognize that your circumstances don’t define you. They are outside of you and need not negatively impact your values and standards. At the same time, you must take responsibility for your life and the choices you make.

No matter what you have gone through in your life–or what you are currently going through–you have the opportunity to grow from it. It’s sometimes very difficult to see the opportunity in the midst of the pain, but it is there. You must be willing to not only look for it, but pursue it.”



I’m Bart Nollenberger, an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team and I want to offer you something that has been a game-changer for me, a MasterMind group on how to grow and change and have more joy and accomplishment in your life rather than pain and disappointment. This MasterMind group is based on John C Maxwell’s powerful book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

For more information:

or, call me at 480-327-8751 and let’s talk.