Search Results: resistance

Resistance is Not Us

By Steven Pressfield |

There are concepts that are so obvious that it’s almost impossible for us to grasp them. This is one of them. What I mean by “so obvious” is, someone says something to us and we think, “Of course. Sure. I know that.” Then the concept blows right past us. It’s out the window and gone, and we’re no better off than we were before we heard it. Here’s the concept (focus hard): Resistance is not us. That voice we hear in our head? That’s not us. Those thoughts we think are our own? They’re not our thoughts. They’re Resistance. “You…

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How Resistance Proves the Existence of God

By Steven Pressfield |

Consider James Rhodes, whose April 26, 2013 article in the Guardian UK I stole for last week’s post: I didn’t play the piano for 10 years. A decade of slow death by greed working in the City, chasing something that never existed in the first place (security, self-worth, Don Draper albeit a few inches shorter and a few women fewer). And only when the pain of not doing it got greater than the imagined pain of doing it did I somehow find the balls to pursue what I really wanted and had been obsessed by since the age of seven—to be…

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Advanced Forms of Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

[Some quick notices before we get into today’s post: [Remember the “Ask Me Anything” Q&A we did a few weeks ago? The hour-long audio went out then to everyone who had signed up for First Look Access. Well, since then Shawn and I and Jeff have recorded three more half-hour AMAs from that original batch of questions—questions we didn’t have time to get to in the first AMA. [We’ll be sending the first half-hour audio out by e-mail on Monday. The other two will follow between then and the New Year. All are free, no sales pitches. [If you have…

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Resistance and Self-Loathing

By Steven Pressfield |

Hang on while I make the case that self-loathing is a good thing. I don’t mean only within the comedic-material sphere, within which self-loathing has been mined for years by Woody Allen, Howard Stern, Richard Lewis, and the godfather of them all, Philip Roth in Portnoy’s Complaint. What exactly is self-loathing? It appears almost always as that nasty, brutal voice in our heads. “You’re a loser, you’re a bum, a worthless waste of oxygen. Look at you. Do you imagine that someone like you could produce something original, something of quality, something that anyone else would care about? What ideas…

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Resistance Comes Second

By Steven Pressfield |

A thought to remember when we wake up each morning and confront anew that dastardly dragon: Resistance comes second. The Dream comes first. The dream of whatever work or enterprise or endeavor you and I are called to. Resistance is the shadow cast by that dream. Resistance is the equal-and-opposite-reaction of nature to the New Thing that you and I are called to bring forth out of nothing. There would be no Resistance without the Dream. The Dream comes first. Resistance follows. The other thing to keep in mind is that Resistance’s strength is equal to the power of the…

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Narcissism and Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

I’m aware that there’s an official definition of narcissism in the Psychiatric Handbook. The following is my unofficial definition—and a theory of how narcissism comes about in the first place. Narcissism is self-iconization. To control our internal terror, insecurity, etc., one mode of coping is to erect an icon in our minds. This icon might be a mentor, a role model, a guru. It might be a lover or a parent, a teacher, a coach. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Sometimes it’s healthy. It’s a stage in the progression toward independence and self-command. When we set someone up…

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Resistance and Addiction

By Steven Pressfield |

Earlier this year, the “Writing Wednesdays” name was switched to “Do the Work Wednesdays” for the release of the book Do the Work. This post went up May 11, 2011, soon after the book’s release. The comments that followed inspired other posts about addiction—and this reposting today. Have you ever noticed that addicts are often extremely interesting people? Addiction itself is excruciatingly boring, in that it’s so predictable. The lies, the evasions, the transparent self-justification and self-exoneration. But the addict is himself often a colorful and engrossing person. If he has been a substance abuser for any length of time, his story…

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Resistance and Addiction

By Steven Pressfield |

Have you ever noticed that addicts are often extremely interesting people? Addiction itself is excruciatingly boring, in that it’s so predictable. The lies, the evasions, the transparent self-justification and self-exoneration. But the addict himself is often a colorful and compelling person. His story reads like a novel, packed with drama, intrigue, conflict and heartbreak. If the addict’s drug of choice is alcohol, the narrative is frequently one of job loss, domestic abuse, divorce, abandonment of children, bankruptcy. If Class One narcotics are the culprit, the tale often includes crime, the law, violence, even death. Of course we fallible mortals can…

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Resistance Tomorrow

By Steven Pressfield |

I just came in from getting my stuff ready for the gym tomorrow–packing my bag, loading up my gear, leaving it in the car. It got me thinking about one of the most useful books I’ve ever read, Dr. Robert Cialdini‘s Influence. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. In the book, Dr. Cialdini lays out seven proven ways to influence other people–in other words, to get them to do what we want them to do. One way, for example, is the Principle of Reciprocity. If Joe does X for me, I will feel an obligation to do…

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The Opposite of Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

Here’s a subtle but crucial point for us to hold in mind as we slog through the trench warfare of the artist’s journey, battling Resistance every step of the way. Remember: Resistance arises second. What comes first is the idea, the passion, the work we are so excited to create that it scares the shit out of us. Resistance is the response of the frightened, petty, small-time ego to the brave, generous, magnificent impulse of the creative self. Resistance is the shadow cast by the innovative self’s sun. What does this mean to us, as we duel our demons? It…

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