Let me ask you a couple of questions:
- What is the one thing you wished you could have done that you haven’t yet?
- What is holding you back from doing it?
One of the books I read years ago that had the most profound impact on me was The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you do and if you have read it, I recommend you read it again.
The essence of what’s preventing us from reaching our dreams is resistance. Here are some of the highlights and what Pressfield says about resistance:
- Resistance is the destructive force inside human nature that rises whenever we consider a tough, long-term course of action that might do for us or others something that’s actually good.
- Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile distinctions. To yield to resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and we were born to be.
- Most of us have 2 lives, the life we live, and the unveiled life within us. Between the two stands resistance.
- You think resistance isn’t real, it will burry you. Hitler wanted to be an artist, at 18 he took his inheritance and moved to Vienna to live and study. He entered the academy of fine arts and later the school of architecture. Have you seen any of his painting? Neither have I. It was easier for Hitler to start World War II then stare at a piece of canvas.
- Resistance is invisible, cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled but it can be felt. Its aim is to distract us and prevent us from doing our work. It is internal. It seems to come from outside ourselves, We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. It’s the enemy within and will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will assume any form, if that what it takes to deceive you. It’s always on, it’s always lying and always full of shit. It aims to kill its target is the epicenter of our being, our genius, our soul. When we fight it, we are in a war to the death. Its power comes from us, we feed it. It is most powerful at the finish line.
Here are some of Pressfield suggestions to overcome resistance:
- If tomorrow morning every dazed soul woke up with the power to take the first step of pursing their dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industry would collapse. Junk food and cosmetic surgery, pharma, hospitals, and the medical profession would collapse from top to bottom, domestic abuse would become extinct as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff.
- Tolstoy had 13 kids and wrote war and peace. Armstrong won tour da France after cancer. If resistance couldn’t be beaten there would be no fifth symphony, no Romeo and Juliet, and no Golden Gate Bridge.
- The pro is prepared each day to confront his own self sabotage, he understands that resistance is fertile and ingenious.
- A pro does not take failure or success personally. To do so reenforces resistance which is the enemy.
- When we sit down day after day and start working, something mysterious happens. A process starts that makes heaven come to our aid. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. Just as resistance has its seat in hell, creation has its seat in heaven.
- When Pressfield finally finished the writing of his book after much effort and aggravation, he shared it with his friend, Paul, who simply said to him: “good for you. Now start your next one today”
Now go do the work, take action and the first step towards the one thing you wished you could have done that you haven’t yet. I assure you that once you do, the second step and then the remaining steps will magically reveal themselves one by one.
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