Getting Ready for Tomorrow
The last thing I do before closing my eyes to sleep is to mentally prepare myself for the fight tomorrow.
How easy it is, congratulating yourself after a productive today, to talk yourself into slacking off tomorrow.
The first post in this series was titled RESISTANCE WAKES UP WITH ME.
It does, and I know it.
Resistance will hit me tomorrow morning before I even open my eyes. It will try to turn my success today into failure tomorrow.
Resistance will try to convince me I can relax, ease up. “You put a good day in the bank today. Enjoy it. Slack off a little tomorrow.”
Tempting, ain’t it?
But I know what will happen if I listen to this siren song.
So I don’t listen.
Instead I steel myself. Like an athlete, like a provider for a family, like a contender, like a professional.
I am playing the long game.
I am inculcating habit.
I am deepening my practice, day by day.
I have a month-at-a-glance calendar on my desk. Every day when I finish work, I write a letter as a code for the project I worked on that day in the upper right hand corner of the calendar day … and I put a check mark beside it.
What I’m trying to do is reinforce for myself the idea that my artist’s life is 24/7/365.
I want to be able to look down at that calendar and see check mark after check mark with no gaps in between.
I’m my own boss, my own coach, my own CEO.
I’m training myself and reinforcing myself every day.
Thanks for this important reminder, Steve! It’s easy to fool oneself that one day we will defeat Resistance once and for all, and watch it slink away, never to return. As the dinosaur wrangler said in Jurrasic Park, just before the T-Rex ate him, “Clever girl.” Never turn one’s back on the enemy.
It was a Velociraptor that got him, Mary. The lawyer got eaten by a T-Rex. I do, however, really like the point you were making so your analogy is still a good one. It’s often not the enemy in plain view that waylays us, it’s the one masked by life’s jungle that slip in silently to kill our dreams. The Resistance is clever, indeed.
“It starts the night before.” Yes. Thank you for that reminder.
Love this. Thank you.
Yes. Really well-stated, Steven Pressfield, thank you!
It’s hard. But it doesn’t have to be too hard. “No hurry, no pause.”
I needed to read this today. What a succinct and powerful post. I love the project letter code/checkmark practice. I’m going to adopt that. Thank you for this!
How does preparing for the fight tomorrow affect your ability to go to sleep? Imagining the threats you’ll face tomorrow will arouse fight-of-flight hormones that will keep you awake. Could it be that your routine includes reviewing your challenges for the next day such that you can then climb into bed, relaxed and calm, knowing you are prepared for tomorrow?
Fate/resistance says, ” You have no choice in the matters of life, just be a mere observer because it does not matter anyway. You are too small to make a significant change in your life or the lives of others”.
Destiny/spirit says, “You matter, and every choice you make matters. If you are breathing and are alive then you have a responsibility towards making your life into a genuinely beautiful piece of art. And you just might influence others to do the same as a side effect”.
Choice is ours at any given time. People like Steven Pressfield give voice to the forces of spirit for anyone to tune in. Thank you.
Here’s to making great art.
DId you have to read my habit?
Wise and disciplined approach. Thanks for sharing
I like this simple, straight-forward style.
Easy to read and understand, without much technical jargon.
Yes – We must know the enemy (resistance) better than we know ourselves.
It never gives up. Never takes a break.
It flourishes by hiding.
The only way we can get ahead of it, is by dragging it out into the bright light of day.
Love these Wednesday messages from you Steven!
This will stay with me, “The working day does not start in the morning. It starts the night before”. I have been desperately seeking a solution to my inability to write consistently. Now I realize the lack of an established routine or better put, my unwillingness to establish a routine is partly to blame. Laziness makes Resistance’s job so much easier.
Truth! Unfortunately, this is me. ” My unwillingness to establish a routine is partly to blame.”
In the Jewish religion, days start at sunset.
The evening prepares the morning.
If I fall asleep with a question about what I am working on, many times the muse will wake me up before my alarm clock, filled with words that need to be written. I have to write them fast, before they fade away.
I can relate. Dozing off with no idea what exactly to do tomorrow leads to a half of next day figuring it out.
On point as usual; no, actually, moreso
Resistance is never entirely defeated, tho you know yourself to be on the right track when it feels weirder to not be working than to be on task.
“It’s 7:55am, I always sit down at computer to work; where else would I be?” M
This COVID stand down has been a great opportunity to tighten up my daily routines. My morning behaviors have gotten much stronger, but I have struggled with a ‘closing of the day’ habit. This is the perfect reminder of how incomplete my day is without a review, analysis of success/failures of day, and a recommitment to my ideals. Thank you.
Thank you Steven. So incredibly insightful. It’s like you’re inside my head – all those siren songs from resistance are the ones I heard this morning. I had a power day yesterday and resistance was angling to turn it on me. Not now. I really love the calendar hack too. No gaps. Thanks. Be well. Cheers, Mo.
Talking about mermaids remebers me of Hagar
The guy is Horrible
He likes going to drinking picnics with the mermaids on the sea shore
But if one is unfastening the sails of the boat to throw kisses at every mermaid one hears singing on the shore, ones long sailing goes crazy
Sail the long sail wave by wave
“It s worth remembering, that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting changes”
Her Majesty The Queen Elisabeth II
Dear Master Steven,
I am loving this, only three Wednesdays and I am winning, as you say today, day by day.
Just a favour, check with your IT people, or maybe there is another reason, I cannot get to the 21 minute minicourse.
Max from London
Frankly, I was surprised this is your routine. I wake up each morning excited to get back to the current novel. I only stopped writing the day before because my mind was becoming fuzzy. (grin) But then, writing is fun for me, not work. Work, to me, is something I did for years for money; something I didn’t necessarily enjoy; something I would escape on weekends. But writing is what I escape TO. Bradbury once wrote “I love to write. It’s all I do.” I feel much the same way. And I’m no beginner. My current novel will be my 50th.
I walk hand in hand with you Master Pressfield.
I recently completed “The War of Art”. I am really very grateful to you for your work on the book. After reading your book, I did the self assessment and found out that I am a graduate of procrastination and excuses. I can procrastinate anything good indefinitey. In fact I have been very creative in procrastination. I can write a book on procrastination and excuses.
But, I have changed now.
I have been trying for good for last five years. Whatever I tried I failed. And without even getting up and try harder, I quit and tried something else. Your book is an eye opener. Thank You For Your Great Work.
With tons of love
Hey Mr. Pressfield – I rarely leave comments, but wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your stuff. The part about marines in War of Art…! THANK YOU
Mental preparation is a key for achieving any goal. The “tomorrow “ is our next goal after today’s successes.
Steven, thank you so much for sharing your experience, and make us stronger! Love you!
Daily exercise is the only way to achieve your most important goals!