Resistance Training

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s Sunday night and once again, you find yourself on your couch.  In the moments after you’re left hyperventilating at the end of an episode of ‘Game of Breaking Mad Men Gone Walking Badly on the Throne’ and the few fleeting seconds before you start frantically posting about it on facebook; you start to hear them.

Not loud at first.  The race to come up with the funniest/wittiest/most insightful post in your social media network usually drowns them out.  But give them a moment to come back around and they come back tenfold.

The voices come back.

The ones telling you that you should be working on that business idea you’ve been telling people about.  The ones telling you that you should start taking better care of your body.  The ones telling you that you should call your mom.  The ones telling you that you should be creating your life’s work.

They’re tough to listen to.  You get the feeling that there’s something else you should be doing.  To be honest, you don’t really want to hear any of it.  But you’ve already got the solution.  Futurama is on syndication on 8 different channels till 4 in the morning.

Ahhhhhh.  That’s the stuff, yeah.

You can just fall asleep watching Zoidberg instead of listening to all those voices till 4 in the morning.

Sound familiar?  Maybe to some.  Maybe others don’t hear voices, but they know.  Instinctively, most people know.  What is it that most people know?

Most people know that they’re selling themselves short.

Most people also know how to drown out those voices and feelings whenever they come along.  Almost everyone is a pro at this.  We all have our different techniques and they all work very well.  I, for one, know that they work too well.

We go out and buy the biggest most expensive friend-impressor we can (or most times can’t) afford.  We watch 5319009 hours of TV a week.  We seek out our favorite comfort foods.  We get angry and frustrated with the people around us or the weather or whatever else we can throw anger and frustration at.

We do all of this to distract ourselves from one simple truth:  We aren’t doing all the things that we should be.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There are many people in this world that are doing what they’re meant to do.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have nice things or even getting mad at someone.  You’re doing no physical harm to yourself or others so you can really do whatever you want.  Just take a couple seconds to understand what’s actually going on.

In his book, “The War of Art,”  Steven Pressfield calls these voice blocking techniques the Resistance.  And it is the Resistance’s job to keep you from doing your work, whatever it may be.  He also suggests that the act of justifying things to ourselves is a distraction.  We know something is amiss, but we convince ourselves everything is fine in order to keep ourselves from feeling too badly about, well… ourselves.

Everyone who’s ever been on a diet should be nodding their heads rather vigorously right now.  We tell ourselves it’s okay to cheat on our diet because there’s a wedding, or a birthday, or because there’s an overturned oreo cookie truck in our driveway and somehow the water company accidently routed milk into the fire hydrant that the oreo cookie truck knocked over.*

Ultimately, it comes down to one thing:  Fear.  It’s Resistance’s greatest weapon and comes in many forms.    For instance, we fear failure so much that we hold ourselves back.  We do this so that in case we fail, we can at the very  least  we can say stuff like, ‘eh, that wasn’t my best shot,’ or ‘it just wasn’t the right time.’

The truth is that sometimes we look at our end goal and equate the work we’d be doing at that end point, to the work we’re supposed to be doing at the very moment.  And that seems daunting.  Juggling all those great and successful endeavours seems impossible.  So we do nothing and tell ourselves that it’s too much work; that we’ll get to it tomorrow, or when we have more time (or when we finally get the external approval we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking we need).

So what do we use to combat fear?

First off, we must realize that fear and Resistance will be present in our lives until the day we die.  Every.  Single.  Day.  In order to combat fear, we must keep in mind that our battles are ongoing and have a plan of attack that shows this level of understanding.

When all is said and done, there are two solutions to this particular problem.  There’s a short answer and a long answer.  Do you have a pen and paper?  You might want to write this down:

The short answer is, work.  The long answer is… Ready for it? …. are you sure? … because its:  work!  Ta-da!

There is one other thing, though.

This is not the mind numbing, 40 to 80 hour a week job that you have so you can pay your bills.  Its the work that you’ve wanted to do your whole life.  You don’t even have to get paid to do it.  In the beginning, at least.  You just have to diligently put as much time to it as your lifestyle allows and try to get better at it.

Even if you work 80 hours a week and really only have 2 hours every other week to paint, or write, or learn how to operate a big rig (sure?), I can almost guarantee that’s going to be one of the best parts of your life.

Most of the times we don’t actually hate our jobs, or the people at them (okay maybe just some of the time).  Most of the time we just don’t really want to show up at a place and do a job that we didn’t really choose.

Sorry to those of you expecting some magic formula, but that’s really it.  But what you have to understand is that this is the work that the aforementioned Resistance is keeping you from.  Resistance literally keeps you from your dreams.  And YOU generate ALL of it.

Sucks that you can’t blame it on anyone else right?  But at least you know who’s in control of this wild ride.

Regardless of how big or small your goals are, your best asset is always going to be your mind.  Its you.  Literally.  Spiritually.  Figuratively.  Whateverly.  Followed by the thing that carries around your mind, your body.  Unless of course you happen to be the head of a former U.S. president accompanying a bending unit.  If you agree, it would make sense that the first steps you should be taking towards ANY goal is taking care of your mind and your body.  And how do we do that?

Proper nutrition and exercise.

 

 

 

 

Its okay.
If you kind of forgot you were reading a fitness blog, its because I kind of forgot I was writing one.  Sorry.

Anyway.

You can have all these dreams and goals and whatever, but you will never get anywhere near them until you start taking care of your mind and body.  Since that is the first step towards pretty much any goal, it should come before school and your job and your friends and even your family.  If you’re not healthy enough to provide for them and protect them, who will?

But I mean, its no big deal.  I guess.  No one is going to hate you because you don’t eat the way you should and exercise as much as you should.  Not a lot of people do it either so you’re in the clear.  The only person you really have to answer to after all is said and done is, of course, yourself.  So if you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say its no big deal, then kudos to you.  You probably didn’t need to read this far and are going to be just fine (but you should finish, of course.  Please?).

As for me,  I’ve beaten resistance.  For now.  The second I press submit and this post hits the interwebz, I know I’ll have won.  But if you ask me about this post tomorrow, I’ll probably tell you its crap.  Not that I really think its crap or that you shouldn’t  read it.  Please take as much or as little as you need from this, but as far as I’m concerned, its done.  Good or bad, its done.  My next entry doesn’t get started if I sit around and admire it like my dad’s name was Ken Griffey Sr.  That, my friends, is called Resistance.

The real question is for those who look in the mirror and feel like they’re letting themselves down.  What are you going to do the instant after you read this to start combating your fears?  What’s the next step you’re going to take to quiet the Resistance?  And once you know what that step is, are you willing to do the work?

To be totally honest, it’s okay if you can’t answer any of those questions yet.  Just know that the answers are all up to you.

PS – Picking up a copy of “The War of Art” and/or “Turning Pro,” also by Pressfield, is a pretty good place to start.

*I hate that this always happens in the middle of my diets.  Never fails.  Sometimes I think the word “diet” and I get slapped in the face by a stray oreo.

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