Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Resistance and Perseverance
“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.”-The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
“We jerk back and forth between business commitments and family responsibilites. While we are busy responding to the needs of friend, child, parent or spouse , we feel guilty about neglecting the demands of work.When we respond to the pressures of work, we fear we are failing our family and friends….If anyone needs a simplification of life, we do.”---Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster
Most men don’t swim upstream they simply swim with the current. The professional cyclist and the master barista become experts by overcoming resistance. It is the buckling down that sets them apart. The world doesn’t understand resistance. Resistance is by its definition opposition or force applied to another.
Tiredness alone could keep me from writing. On top of that there’s Back To School night and chattering families (not a bad thing unless you are trying to write), bills to pay and friends that want to ‘touch base.’ Living life well boils down to one thing---overcoming Resistance.
Pressfield identifies family and friends as agents of resistance and sometimes they are. Yet Resistance occurs when pursuing relationship as well. Praying with your wife or reading your bible should be easy but there are always interruptions and distractions. A simple act feels like the world is pushing back to keep you off track.
Even the simplicity that Foster promotes in his books involves commitment and meets with Resistance. It is easy to give up it is difficult to downsize and simplify. That’s the challenge I face. I think of the remnant that returned to build the wall. They built with shovel in one hand and sword in the other. Overcoming resistance is like that, drudgery and battle. We build and we swing the sword. We find others to encourage and remind us of our commitments. We push hard, go to sleep and do it again tomorrow. If we give in we will be swept away by the current that ever runs contrary to the direction we are headed.