Friday, May 29, 2009

Yuck! into Yay! - Steven Pressfield's "War of Art"

Plinky prompt:

What's the most important thing you've learned recently?

Whether you're in school or not, you're learning new things all the time. Share something new that's entered your brain.

My Answer -->

First: When there is a difference between (1) your highest desires, and (2) the consequences of your daily actions, then you have some daily work to do to bring those two into congruence. You will get the full benefit of this hard daily work only TEN years after you start (Yuck!). But you will probably still be alive FIFTEEN years from now, and, if you are willing to do the daily hard work, those years are going to be outrageously rewarding (Yay!). (Will the daily work consist of just moving your daily actions more towards your highest desires? Maybe. Or maybe you need the whole world's help to inform you about what would be a *better* highest desire. And those ten years of daily hard work will include the very hardest work for a human: thinking realistically about who you really are.) Second:

A human brain showing frontotemporal lobar deg...Image via Wikipedia

As you work on things that can take you towards your highest desires, you will feel resistance. This resistance is a clever thing - it harnesses the obstacles and distractions in your environment, and it fills your mind with anxieties to make you fall back into familiar habits of comfort and coping, even though those old habits cannot be sustained without you ultimately harming yourself. This resistance can be personified as The Resistance, your personal enemy to growth, and you have to be willing to bring everything you got to fight against The Resistance, everyday. This idea about The Resistance is from Steven Pressfield's book "The War of Art". Coincidentally, I wrote a short essay about the surprising effect this book had on me:

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