30 Days of Resistance

"What I know: There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.

Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice?

Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is." - Steven Pressfield

Today I am starting another deep-dive into intellectual growth, a.k.a. a thirty-day blogging challenge. Every day of September I will publish a blog post that shares whatever comes to my mind, maybe something I'm interested in, philosophy, a current habit that I have, or a reflection on the Praxis experience. Whatever it is, I'm going to write to write. I'm going to write for me. I will not let my inner-voice be hidden by my exterior (you know the part of me that unconsciously tries to please other's perception of me). Instead, I will let it all out. Why? It's important that I do not filter my thoughts. If I filter my thoughts, I will not grow. I must let my inner self speak up to be able to learn more about who I am.

With that said, some days I might publish 10 paragraphs, and others I might publish one sentence. I can't guarantee any particular length because I will only be writing to the point that I am satisfied. To the point where I feel that nothing should be added to the message, I'm trying to convey. 

Now, during this month, I will in-fact face obstacles. Some of you may know these obstacles as "Resistance". Resistance could take form in my full-time job, daily responsibilities, or family emergencies. Who knows? But I know one thing for certain, and that's that I will indeed face something that will try to prevent me from reaching my thirty-day writing goal. Knowing this, I wanted to take my first blog post of the month, and share my thoughts on Resistance with you. 

I've recently read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and he does an immaculate job at explaining the nuances of Resistance and how to overcome it. In this post, I will define Resistance, and in the following posts, I will discuss combatting it. Firstly, as Steven eluded in the introduction of this post, Resistance permeates through all of us. It is everywhere and we must all face it at one point or another. But what exactly is resistance? When does it show itself? How does it affect the other attributes of our lives? etc. 

Well, Pressfield spends the entirety of book one within the War of Art answering all of those questions and more. Discover what Resistance is below: 

Resistance is invisible, internal, insidious, implacable, impersonal, infallible, and universal. Resistance never sleeps, Resistance plays for keeps and Resistance is fueled by fear.

Resistance only opposes in one direction:

Going from a lower plane to a higher one. Resistance will not be present if you decide to work at your local grocery store instead of launching your own media company.

Resistance is the most powerful at the finish line:

The closer you get to your goals, the tighter Resistance's grasp gets. 

Resistance takes from in procrastination:

This is the most common form of resistance because it is the easiest to rationalize. We don't say I'm never going to do something, we say I'm going to do something tomorrow. 

Resistance leads to unhappiness & self-doubt:

When you let resistance win you stop moving. Stagnation sets in and you feel pointless. Furthermore, doubt sets in. But doubt is an ally, this is because it is an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love.

Resistance is directly proportional to love:

The more resistance you have, the more love you have for that project, and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it. 

Note: The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

Resistance takes form in the fear of isolation:

We are afraid of being alone, to step away from the tribe, sit down, and do our work. But we are never alone; when we work we allow our most inner self to support and sustain us. When you work on your dream, you are not aware of time or solitude. The hours fly by.

Resistance uses rationalization:

Resistance has a sneaky friend who is the part of our psyche that actually believes what rationalization tells us. It's one thing to lie to ourselves. It's another thing to believe it. 

Rationalization can be legitimate: Your wife may be 8 months pregnant, and she might truly need you at home. 

But don't forget that Tolstoy had 13 kids and wrote War and Peace.

Lastly, and most importantly. Resistance Can Be Beaten:

If Resistance couldn't be beaten, there would be no Fifth Symphony, no Romeo and Juliet, no Golden Gate Bridge. Resistance is like giving birth. It seems impossible until you remember that women have been pulling it off successfully, with support and without, for fifty million years.

Gregory AlexanderComment