I was perusing my own blog posts, from seven years ago, and I saw this one, titled “Let Resistance Be Your Guide.” Here’s the part that grabbed my attention today…
We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others.
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
That’s the part Steven Pressfield wrote. And here’s the part I wrote…
Wondering if that project’s worth pursuing? If it wasn’t you wouldn’t be questioning it so much. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t feel so tired just thinking about it. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have three empty notebooks with the project’s name carefully written on the cover and nothing inside. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be asking all your friends what they think of it.
Chances are – and this might be the scary part – Resistance knows what’s good for you even better than you do.
Earth to Matt, are you getting this message?
Seth Godin with another fine list. This is a bunch of ways to succeed (or not, depending on your situation.) Here are some of my favorites…
1. Be very focused on your goal and work on it daily
2. Go to college with someone who makes it big and then hires you
4. Practice every day
7. Do the emotional labor of working on things that others fear
18. Contribute more than is expected
19. Give credit to others
20. Take responsibility
26. Treat every gig as an opportunity to create art
29. When dealing with employees, act like Steve. It worked for him, apparently.
32. Have the ability to work harder and more directly than anyone else when the situation demands it
Some of those reflect my values. Some of those are funny.
There’s that terrible commercial, right? For Five Hour Energy, the most disgusting product I can think of, and some woman chides her co-worker, “Somebody’s got a case of the Two O’clocks!” Urgh.
I don’t get the Two O’Clocks, though. I get the Four-Fifteens. Do you get the Three Thirties? Or maybe you work late and get that really depressing jab of the Eleven Twenty PMs.
Whenever you get it, it takes effort to recognize and deal with that extended moment of weakness. Really, it was just a few weeks ago that I suddenly realized that every late afternoon, in the gap between most of my appointments and seeing my wife after her workday, during which the incoming emails finally slow down, is regularly my LEAST-productive time of day. It doesn’t matter when I got out of bed, what I have left to do, or what I have to look forward to. Those are the couple of hours when I find it hardest to focus on Getting Things Done. Resistance gains a foothold and I just wanna nap, or look at Facebook, or kid myself that online shopping is a productive use of time.
So I’ve been trying to turn over a new leaf. When I feel that lethargy coming on strong, I switch the game, I do the opposite of what I’ve been doing. If I’m home, I leave. If I’m out, I go home. If I’ve been online, I close the computer. I turn off the phone. I read. I write. Anything to avoid wasting those hours.
Sometimes it even works.
Now I’ve just gotta figure out why I always get tired just in time for rehearsal.
I’ve got so much to do and I’m way behind. So how does my mind work today?
Y’know the great struggle of my life is really that I love getting shit done only about 5% more than I love to sit around and drink coffee and read. Maybe you should read, Matt? That Gene Wolfe book only gets better as you go?
What’s this email? Maxwell’s going on tour? Oooh, Maxwell, I haven’t listened to Maxwell in awhile, I should make a Spotify playlist with my 10 favorite Maxwell songs. Man, where’s that tour going?
WAIT – this is RESISTANCE! Ack!
I better blog about it.
Resistance loves a day like this. It’s unexpectedly cold, rainy, grey, dull. I didn’t sleep well and my brain feels like mush. It’s 10am, but it feels like 8am, or maybe 8pm. There’s no appointment forcing me to get-up. I really need to do laundry. I hate searching for matching socks. My most weather-appropriate clothes are dirty. What’s worst, I don’t have a clear picture of what I need to accomplish today.
Oh, and my loving puppy, who usually forces me to start my day, crawled back in bed, under the covers, wanting to cuddle away the miserable morning.
So, what now?