As the title says, something that gets across that doing or starting something is unpleasant even though the subject is aware that it will help them in the long run. Less akin to long term commitments and more related to short term things like doing the dishes or brushing your teeth.

  • You find it unpleasant to summon up the energy to brush your teeth?
    – David
    Jan 3, 2020 at 23:47
  • @david Does the word need to apply to me to have a use for it?
    – user371165
    Jan 16, 2020 at 2:12
  • Psychologically speaking the term is delayed gratification. I think however that you need to give us more context. Who is saying this and to whom? Are you speaking or writing? Do you want an ordinary word or a scientific phrase? Could you give us a complete sentence as an example of how the phrase would be used in real life and leave a blank _______ where the phrase would go. Sep 29, 2020 at 21:19

3 Answers 3


A common metaphor is "growing pains".

There might be some growing pains, but they will be worth it.



'used to say that you can only achieve something, for example become fitter, by suffering or working hard'


although this is used usually to refer to greater discomfort than "slight".


Paying one's dues means to put in hard work at a low level, for the promise of something better in the future. It's often thankless, menial, possibly unpleasant work, but it can open the door for more opportunity later on.

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