Procrastination, boredom, laziness, they’re all Resistance. Every single one. Anything that stops you from doing pretty much anything is Resistance. It’s a hard opponent. It’s basically in everything around us. Every notification, every distraction, every little thing that draws your focus from your task at hand, from your road to reaching your goals and dreams.
In the book The War of Art, the author, Steven Pressfield, explains everything about Resistance. The paperback is broken into three books that defines Resistance as an enemy, turns you into a pro at combating Resistance, and teaches you about going beyond Resistance to a higher realm. I just started so forgive me that I am still on the first book. But within the first 32 pages, and the foreword, and the prologue, I have actually learned quite a few things about identifying Resistance. And I regret that Resistance kind of has control over my life. Wonderful…
Ever since I can remember, I was never able to procrastinate. Whatever I had to do I would get done as soon as possible. But now that I’m older, Resistance is starting to catch up with me. Slowly I see myself putting off more and more, telling myself “I’ll do it tomorrow.” And I know that it’s gradually becoming a bad habit, which I don’t want at all; I hate procrastinating and the people who do it. In the chapter Resistance And Procrastination, Part Two, Pressfield said some really mind boggling things that really made me realize how much I really need to destroy this bad habit before it progresses any further.
“The most pernicious aspect if procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today: we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.”
He’s such a motivational speaker. It’s incredible really. See, doing what we want to do isn’t the hard part. Actually starting it is the challenge. Pressfield gave the example of a writer: “There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” I struggle with this problem very single time I want to do something artistic or creative. This is what leads me to procrastinate. But in the end, I do sit down and finish it, even though it takes a little while longer than I hoped. But I always make sure it gets down, especially if there’s a due date.
Another chapter that I felt that I connected with was Resistance And Unhappiness. For a few years now I’ve been pretty stressed, depressed, and just plain unhappy and I never really had a reason as to why. So, here I am reading and I find this two-page collection of words that explains my dreary mood. Pressfield describes what Resistance feels like and suddenly he says, “Sounds like life, I know. It isn’t. It’s Resistance.” Wow. Mind blown. Because all around me I see all these people enjoying themselves and having the time of their lives and then there’s me, alone in the corner, wanting to be somewhere, anywhere else except this godforsaken planet. And what most people do when they feel like this is use various types of technology to distract and cut themselves off from the rest of the world. I do this too and I am not proud of it. And the only way to overcome this habit of distraction is to get rid of all that and actually sit down to do our work. I have thought several times about deleting my social media accounts, but I feel that if I do I’ll be cut off from what’s going on around me. But then again, I’m already cut off because I barricade myself behind a frickin piece of plastic. So either way, I both cut off and involved in my surroundings.
This book is so different from anything I have ever read before and I must say that I am completely in love with it. I already have learned so much and am curious how many more lessons I will learn from reading the rest. I believe that with this book will help me be a better artist and most definitely will help me get rid of my bad habits.