Suffering endured

In Every Cradle is a Grave, Sarah Perry correlates meaning with suffering endured:

“Meaning increases with certain kinds of suffering; the meaningfulness of a particular group or experience is proportional to the suffering incurred to join. More intense initiation or hazing rituals create more meaningful bonds within the group. More demanding or more religious utopian communities tend to last longer than their more easy-going or secular brethren.”

This stoked a feeling of familiarity: the sunk cost fallacy, which You Are Not So Smart gives a succinct description of:

“Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it.”

Alternatively stated, commitment to X makes it harder to abandon X in the future. Essentially, suffering endured is a sunk cost, one that results in many skewed decisions, multiple abnormalities, and in the case of art and creativity, a few masters.