I have periods of painful personal growth which usually don't last more than a month. If they do, I tend to stop doing whatever's causing the pain for a while and come back to it later. and i don't think he meant it should be painful all the time.
However, my experience and steve's advice may well not apply to you. Zoom out of your current place to about five years around your present, what's the story? How are you going ot look at this time in the future? Is it going to be important growth and pain period that sets the stage for bigger things in th future or is it just pain that can be stopped?