The thing pulling the opposite of the direction we want to go. In terms of strength training this is arguably a good thing. When it comes to accomplishing work we want to be doing, or long term goals we want to work towards, it’s counterproductive.
In “The War of Art” by author Steven Pressfield, he writes about resistance being everything that pulls us away from what we should be working on to achieve our goals (that’s a simplified description). Let’s say you’re trying to become a professional graphic designer. Resistance could be browsing twitter, cleaning a desk, shopping online for a new stapler, or entering into a text message gif war. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, it’s just that they are distracting from the larger goal.
Re-reading “The War of Art” it makes my weakness of answering to the sirens call of resistance a lot louder and obvious to me. I will hit great rhythms of battling resistance away, and then I will hit long bouts of falling out of rhythm.
The book is targeted towards people that work in creative fields, and for really good reason. It’s easy as a creator to fall into the excuse of not feeling inspired and in turn waiting to “feel right” before creating. This is fine for a hobbiest, but not for a proffessional. There’s a lot of competition out there, and every second we wait for inspiration to strike, another person is at work and far ahead of us.
So going back to resistance, I had a lot of resistance about sitting down and writing this post today. I didn’t know what I wanted to write about (excuse number one), and had a series of things keep me from sitting down and doing the work.
What were my resisters today?
- Taking an extra long time eating lunch at a restaurant
- Needlessly browsing aisles in the grocery store
- Shopping for socks online
- Putting away laundry
- Tweeting friends
I could go on with the list, I just don’t want to bore you. The point is day’s will not be perfect, and even just a bit of awareness can help. Being aware that you could be resisting doing the work and what the resistor is. Sometimes it’ll help get you back to your work, sometimes it won’t make a difference, but even a CHANCE that it will help get you back to the thing you wish to be working on is helpful.
In the case of writing this post, I feel like discussing resistance itself is an opportunity to reflect on it and literally battle it straight on. Two for one special.
If you’re reading this (thank you by the way if you are) and feel like you could use a good swift kick in the ass to get you working on your goals, find that book. It’s decently quick to read and incredibly effective.