I am reading a book called The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. This book has been recommended to me so many times in other blog posts, podcasts, and other discussions that I finally caved and decided to dive into it. I just started to read it. I’m literally only about 20 very easy pages in.
The topic of Pressfield’s book is the Resistance. The Resistance is the thing that keeps you from accomplishing your work. It is the thing that stops you from even getting started. It pops up in various forms and not-so-subtly it takes over.
It is that force within us that when a great idea comes to us it says “No you cannot do that. You don’t have enough experience.” Or maybe for you it is the times when you have to write that big paper, finish that project, or start calling people so you can actually make a sale and instead it reminds you that the garage needs to be rearranged.
It chooses the garage. When we let It choose things for us we always lose. We lose because then the next time we remember our dream, that project, paper, or call we are reminded that last time we failed.
This is like a snowball effect. The momentum builds and suddenly it feels like there is nothing we can do to stop it. It is an avalanche that is racing towards us.
How To Fight The Resistance
The reality though is that we can stop this. We don’t need to have a massive plan for conquering the Resistance. In fact a big plan works against us.
You need a simple plan. The plan is this…just start.
That sounds too simple right? How can this giant avalanche of momentum be thwarted by simply starting? Because small actions, accumulated over a period of time, produce huge results.
The simple act of starting is a powerful action that I too often forget to take. I like to think of all the steps that need to be taken. I like to plan and organize. I like to be thought of as a great thinker. The problem is that thinking alone will not get me (or you) anywhere. Thinking must be married to action.
Pressfield writes in the opening of his book about his daily routine for writing. He walks the reader through his day and details how he takes away the choice of whether to write or not. For him it doesn’t matter. For those four hours he is producing. In his own words he says
“All that matters is that I’ve put my time in and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome the Resistance.”
– Steven Pressfield in The War of Art
What can you do right now, today, to take action to overcome the Resistance?
Now go do it.