Stop Making Success So Difficult
(Day 9 of evolution.)
I don’t feel like writing right now.
Every word is like lifting a heavy barbell in the gym. I have other work that I could be doing. It’s already late in the day, I could go to bed early. I could turn off my brain for a while and watch a show on Netflix.
And yet. I’m still writing. I’m still here with my laptop, pounding away at the keyboard.
Why? Because I know it’s part of the process. I know that if I don’t write today, I might not write tomorrow.
Our worst enemy- Resistance.
If you have read the book, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, you know that I am experiencing the handy work of the son of a bitch we call, Resistance. I have to thank my lovely friend, Stephanie, for reminding me to watch out for this guy. (Stephanie just finished the first draft of her first screenplay ever. Super proud!)
Resistance is the invisible force that stops us from making progress. Resistance wants everything to remain the same. Resistance hates creativity and will hinder you with a wide range of dangerous tools. Distractions, fear, anxiety, and an inner voice that says “you can’t” are among the most deadly.
Luckily, I’ve duelled with Resistance before. I know his tricks and can recognize the presence of Resistance much faster than I could a few years ago.
Defeat Resistance with action
The best way to defeat Resistance is to take action. Any action. I promised myself that I would sit down and write at least five sentences today. Of course I can do that. Writing five sentences is simple. I knew If I could begin writing this article, I would likely finish it.
Today my goal, or desired outcome, was to write any sort of personal content. I didn’t tell myself that I had to write at least 1,000 words. I didn’t force myself to write about a specific topic. I made it incredibly easy for myself to succeed.
Your specific goals might be holding you back from success
Most of us make succeeding extremely difficult. And, if we start finding success on a regular basis, we up the ante and make it even harder to succeed!
I have done this to myself hundreds of times. When it comes to working out, I usually want to exercise a certain number of days in a week. And during those workouts, I want to complete a certain routine, let’s say an hour of weight training.
After doing this for a few weeks, I would become comfortable with the routine and tack on another day of exercise, increasing the workout time to an hour and a half.
Eventually, I find myself needing to be complete a massive workout 5 or 6 days a week. I have to. If I don’t, I wouldn’t meet my goal and that would be the ultimate failure (bullshit btw).
All or nothing almost never works
We all know how this story ends. We know how it ends because I’ve almost made it impossible to succeed. If we all went a little easier on ourselves and made it easier to achieve “success”, we would all eventually make much more progress in the long run.
I tend to have an “all or nothing attitude” towards most things. I’m either running 30 miles a week or I’m running zero. I’m making significant progress on writing a book or I’m not even typing a single word.
I realize now that it’s going to be extremely difficult to get where I want to go using this methodology. Jumping back and forth from one extreme to the other is exhausting, stressful, and counter-productive.
Nike knows best
If I found time to do any sort of exercise for any amount of time on a daily basis, I know I would be in better shape. That’s a fact. If I found time to put pen to paper at least once a week, I would already be the proud author of a book.
There is a time to be fast and aggressive but I’m starting to realize that the tortoise beat the hare in their race for a reason. One foot in front of the other. Steady and consistent action always trumps no action. Take a page out of Nike’s book and show Resistance who’s boss today. Just start. Just do it.