Spiritually and/or naturally – life is a battle. We are waging war constantly.
We all battle Resistance in some form; whether we’re starting a new company, trying to salvage our marriage, leading a project, writing a blog or just trying to clean the house.
Resistance, like a faithful friend but more of an enemy, will be there trying to keep us from doing what we need, want or are called to do.
I’m reading what’s quickly becoming a new favorite book; one I believe will be a most useful tool for many years to come:
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.
This book is written to help writers/artists overcome their creative blocks. But it’s really more than that. I see it as a tool to help anyone who’s trying to accomplish anything worthwhile.
“Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance? Does Resistance have to cripple and disfigure our lives before we wake up to its existence? How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to? Resistance defeats us. If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff.“Look in your own heart… a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.” – Steven Pressfield
What is Resistance?
According to Mr. Pressfield here are some of the characteristics of Resistance:
- It’s the enemy within.
- Tells us anything to keep us from our work.
- Never sleeps.
- Plays for keeps.
- Most powerful at the finish line.
“…any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity… any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower… will elicit Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield
To counter act Resistance, Mr. Pressfield says the writer / artist must be a professional: show up every day no matter what, be committed for the long haul, master the craft or technique, accept pay for the labor, realize the stakes are high and real, not over identify with the job, keep a sense of humor, and receive praise or blame due.
Personally, I find the above lists easy to relate, to not just as a writer dealing with procrastination when my computer is staring me in the face each day; but in every area of my life…
Going to bed on time
Drinking 80oz of water every day!
Simply, fighting all temptations big or small…
I will take on Resistance and his seedy little game.
Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you. Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will! Then you will receive all that He has promised. –Hebrews 10:35-36
I’m determined, with God’s help, to be a professional at life…
- To show up every day no matter what.
- To be committed for the long haul.
- To realize the stakes are high and real.
- To keep a sense of humor.
- To receive praise or blame due.
- To keep God’s Word close to my heart and mind.
- To fight the good fight of faith!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. –Hebrews 12:1
QUESTION: Where do you feel the most resistance in your life?