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Last updated March 23, 2022

# Belief that pain is the unit of effort

Source: alkjash on LessWrong

With this belief, the injunction “actually try” means “put yourself in as much pain as you can handle.” Similarly, “she’s trying her best” translates to “she’s really hurting right now.”

People with this belief optimize for the appearance of suffering. Wait until you meet someone for whom telling them about opportunities actively hurts them, because you’ve just created another knife they feel pressured to cut themselves with.


  1. If it hurts, you’re probably doing it wrong. That’s just bad form.
    1. So much of this applies to the physical (e.g. working out) why don’t we apply this to our emotional and mental selves?
  2. You’re not trying your best if you’re not happy.

Motivation in Hard Times John in vlogbrothers

“[worked fuelled by resentment and pain] may burn bright, but it also burns dirty”

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