In The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, he writes about the number one enemy of all artist. He calls it Resistance. Resistance is the reason we log onto Facebook first thing in the morning instead of getting to work on our craft. Resistance is the reason we come up with excuses as to why things can’t be done; instead of trying to figure out how it can be done. Resistance is what keeps us in our comfort zone. Its what keeps us from pushing ourselves and getting shit done. Resistance is the reason we stay mediocre and live a life of melancholy.
Resistance is the reason I haven’t posted a single blog update in over a month and half. I have been making excuses. I’ve drawn a blank as to what to write about. The muse was fucking with me. A blinking cursor with nothing written before it has stared at me, mockingly. A nasty sense of self doubt filled my being. “Maybe you don’t have what it takes, Raul. You’re not a writer, you can’t even keep up a silly little blog that no one reads.” That’s the cynical, devilish voice of Resistance stomping on my ambitions. You know what? Fuck you! I am more than good enough to accomplish my dreams and ambitions and I’m not going to let YOU or anything else stop me.
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” says Pressfield. I have a daily struggle with it. I have these grandeur visions of the man I will be five, ten, twenty years from now. Then I ask I myself what have I done TODAY to help me progress towards becoming that man? If I draw a blank, I feel an intense sense of disgust towards myself. If I can come with maybe two or three little things that helped become a better man, than I do have a small sense of self satisfaction, even though most of the time I feel I could have done more. For example, if can say to myself that today, I wrote 1000 words in my journal, I read for one hour, and I ran 5 miles, I will file that underneath a day where I beat Resistance(a tiny bit) and did something to become a better man. If on that day all I did was browse aimlessly on Facebook, watch movies, jerk off, and maybe did a half-assed work out. That’s a day that Resistance kicked my ass and I think of myself as a worthless bum.
Resistance is there every single day. It never gets easier to beat it, as you become better the challenges it throws your way become tougher. It gets in your face and tells you in the most brutal way possible. “Yeah, you wrote 1000 words? So fucking what? It’s garbage! How about you write 1000 words of something actually readable?” You meet that challenge and it turns around says to you “Oh, you wrote 1000 words of good stuff? So what? It’s not great. Try again, pussy.” Even when one creates their first great piece, Resistance will say to you “Oh wow, ONE great piece? You’re nothing more than a one hit wonder. You got lucky. You can’t do it again. You have no talent.” It’s a vicious, endless cycle. The challenge will either make you great or it will bury you. I chose to dig myself out and become great, no matter how deeply buried I am right now.