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“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” I remember exactly where I was standing in Powell’s Bookstore when I read the words of Steven Pressfield in the War of Art.

The War of Art, Do The Work, and Turning Pro – all by Pressfield and all talking about creativity and Resistance, are the three books I give away most frequently.

If you prefer video – here’s an eight-minute video on the psychology of self-sabotage and Resistance.

Which life?

Which life am I living? It’s a question I ask myself regularly. Sometimes the answer is the one of immediate gratification – food, caffeine, and alcohol; at other times, I’m living a life of growth and integrity – a life of creativity and service. Most often, the truth lies somewhere in between because my battle with Resistance is fought daily.

What are your two lives?

What is Resistance?

As defined by Pressfield, Resistance is that negative force that arises whenever we engage in any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth or integrity.

Activities that elicit Resistance

Listen to a short interview Steven Pressfield as he talks about Resistance.

Two activities that bring up Resistance for me are:

  1. Studying for tests
  2. Writing

These are my dragons because my dyslexia made school very difficult for a long time. Words and letters were so hard to decode that I still have to confront my shadows to call myself a writer.

What brings your Resistance out of the shadows?

Daily Battle

In the battle against Resistance, we have allies. Pressfield considers the following to be on our side:

  • Stupidity – take action. Now.
  • Stubbornness – don’t quit.
  • Blind Faith – believe in something.
  • Passion – know fear. Fear blocks passion.
  • Assistance (the opposite of Resistance)
  • Friends and Family

Friends and family are last on the list because they can be either an enemy or an ally. They can be the biggest supporters of our growth, or they can be invested in us staying the same because our change might mean they need to change too.

I point this out to remind you, and me, that we can be an enemy of change if I’m resisting my need to change. I just recommitted to my partner to be her ally, not her enemy.

Is there someone you need to commit to supporting?

“On the field of Self stand a knight and a dragon.

You are the knight.

Resistance is the Dragon.”

Steven Pressfield

Good luck on the field.

Go Answer the Call

Matt

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