Life is at times beautiful poetry and at other times a painful climb. Those who truly live see the necessity and the beauty in both.

We can go through life ignoring the poetry, the art, the beauty around us. We can also go through life hating the struggle, the suffering, the pain of our day-to-day.

The truth is that both are necessary parts of life. Not merely so we can appreciate the sweet by trudging through the bitter, it goes deeper than that. Yes, we need those comparisons; we need to go through hell so we can appreciate heaven. We need to suffer through a climb so we can completely wonder in the greatness of the view at its peak.

We also need to experience what we’re experiencing for its purpose in our lives.

There are moments where we have to stop, breathe, and BE where we are. I’ve had too many moments in my life that are now gone that I didn’t appreciate while I was in them. They’re now just pictures hanging on my wall. The moments, when I was in them, went by quickly with the ignorance of the beholder, myself.

I’m writing this at my dinner table. Hanging on the wall to my left is an image of a church steeple with the Italian Alps in the background. This was the view from basement suite I rented on Airbnb for 5 days just north of Lake Como.

It’s one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen and I woke up to it every morning with clear skies and a sunrise. Yet, my mind was on other things, be it work or women or money or where to go next. Thus, I didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of where I was.

To my right there’s a picture of me with my arm around a two year-old (non-sedated) male lion. For that instance I made sure to be completely in the moment not thinking about anything but this magical experience.

This focus, however, can’t be consigned only to moments of beauty; they have to be found also in moments – even long periods – of pain.

It’s the pain in the workout that makes us stronger just like it’s the pain in life that makes us tougher, harder, and more durable. Pain shouldn’t be avoided by the brain. It shouldn’t be avoided by buying something as a momentary relief or booking a trip to escape our suffrage.

Be in the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Solve those problems and appreciate their necessity if, of course, you want to be something far greater than who you started out as. (Read This: Become The Man You’re Obsessed with Being)