It depends what Steve means by pain and how people intepret it though. I don't consider it physical pain, but more like struggle, exhausting toil and mental anguish.
And no, it's not always pain. Pain just comes from resistance, and once you are past the resistance there's freedom. Once you are over the hurdle it's straight running. Some hurdles are huge though and take a lot of effort and struggle to force yourself over.
Why? Because we are human and it's in our nature to resist. We can dream about all the green fields we like, but we have to climb the fences to get there, and boy do we hate climbing fences. Personal Development is that group of fences. If you just go for it and not worry about the effort, it ceases being a struggle. It's when you get in the way of yourself does it become difficult and painful.
Is it a struggle? Yes. Does it have to be? No.