Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Pain is a Great Motivator


I’m truly amazed at what I’ve learned as a response to the pain in my right shoulder. What I’ve accomplished leads me to believe that perhaps pain is responsible for the entire evolution of man.

Okay, maybe not… but just maybe.

For all of the fifty-one years I’ve been on this earth I’ve been right-handed. Apart from holding a fork, and even then only when I have a knife in my right, I’ve never done much with it. Oh, and touch-typing of course. But even then, I can’t manage to hit the space bar with my left thumb without seriously thinking about it. Doing so slows me down considerably, so I’ll stop trying.

But now! now I’m able to do almost everything except write with it. And why? Why do I use my left hand now without even thinking about it? Because for most things, using my right is excruciating. Eating, drinking from a cup, brushing my hair, reaching for things, even wiping my butt; I’ve suddenly become ambidextrous. Pain has taught me how to do all these things at more than half a century old!

So I got to thinking about the evolution of man and how pain might have helped us get to where we are. Think about technology for instance. Imagine how many blisters we’d have and how wrinkled our skin would be if we actually had to walk and then swim to another continent! Not to mention being eaten by fish with numerous rows of teeth! And what about grocery stores. How much hunger would we have to endure if we had to wait for, say, a potato to grow. Or a cow. With the invention of aisles upon aisles of ready-grown food we don’t have to worry about that!

So I conclude that pain must be the greatest motivator in the world. Can you think of one better? I think not!

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

45 thoughts on “Pain is a Great Motivator

  1. Pain has always been a great motivator for me.


  2. The only thing that motivates change more than pain is fear, I think. (Except for fear of change…) I hear you on the rotator cuff pain. Believe me!


  3. Sorry but your post and comments make me laugh a little Linda. I’m happy that you adapt and learn, how much you are able to do with your left hand.
    Often we take our abilities for granted, at least until we become a little older…..
    I have cronic pain too, so we learn to do the best we can, every day. I hope that you will heal very soon Linda. Send you my best thoughts.


  4. I’m glad you are managing using your non-dominant hand to spare you from shoulder pain. I have heard that people are sometimes advised to use their non-dominant side to increase brain power. So, who knows what new ideas you may come up with as a result?


  5. Linda, I just this minute came across this blog in my reader – as recommended by a doctor. Easing pain through movement. The doc. says it works. But good on you for learning to go left-handed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We don’t realize how different body parts help us function normally until one of them is not working or causing us pain. I have had some nutty arthritic inflammatory thing but it has been moving around. Thank goodness it does not last 24/7. But for a while it was affecting my shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers. I had a shoulder nerve impingement condition a couple of years ago as well. So I know exactly what you are talking about with the pain and not being able to use your arm and hands. I hope you have some medication to ease it and if it is a tear are they recommending surgery? I have heard people do well after those surgeries for rotator cuff repair.


  7. Pain is why I’m where I am. Without it I would be fat and happy. 😉 I’m still fat. But not happy. I think I got screwed. 😛


  8. I’ll agree, people tend to fear pain. It’s part of our instincts. And if it’s not… well it should be, shouldn’t it? It certainly sounds like it would be.


  9. I have suffered shoulder pain on two occasions, both requiring weeks and weeks of PT. The first time, the pain was so severe that nothing really worked, but I was motivated to find ways of reducing it. Part of the problem with that pain is that I was “motivated” into adopting a worse posture (but it felt better). For me, the pain was in my non-dominant arm so no benefit came as a result. I hope you can work through this pain Linda.


  10. As a fellow rotator cuff injury club member I can totally understand everything you typed in this post, ESPECIALLY the butt wipin’ part, pure torture. Great post!


  11. As a person with chronic pain, I have to disagree. Haha. But yes, in general I can see how pain can actually motivate a person. It’s good to hear that you have been able to adapt. 🙂 I hope your shoulder heals soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s all in the way you look at it. Between, “ugh, I have to use my left hand,” and “hey look, I can do this with my left hand!” I prefer the latter. 😛 Thanks very much for your well-wishes. 🙂 All the best with your pain too! After a year I suppose I could classify mine as chronic as well. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I agree totally Linda. In recent times I have developed arthritis in my right index finger. It never ceases to amaze me just how useful that finger is especially when one is right handed. I have begun considering the change to my left hand to deal with some those life’s important functions which you so eloquently detailed in this post.


  13. Adaptability is probably the most powerful trait humans have. Seems to me like you’re just living up to your human potential.

    Liked by 1 person

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