Why do we forcefully resist many of the great things in life? We are so consumed with both success and failure that we unavoidably end up resisting most of our lives instead of living them.
So, as of now….I surrender.
Two simple words with so much strength in them.
Resistance distracts us by building addictions. Shopping addiction is one of them. Boredom is another.
Over the weekend, I sat down and read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Yes, I actually sat for long enough to read it. It’s a quick read at 165 pages but well worth it. It’s comprised of mini essays on resistance and pretty much everything in life.
Part one explains every feeling, emotion and human state you can think of and how resistance plays its part in it. Fear, love, sex, unhappiness, and the ego. Yep, the big E-G-O is the biggest resistor in our lives. Everything adventurous, challenging and different we try to do causes our egos to resist in big ways. After all, our egos want us to keep the status quo, not change or cause any great upset in our lives. Because if you do X, Y might happen and oh no, we may F-A-I-L! We can’t have that can we? That’s your ego talking.
Resistance, your EGO, and fear all don’t want you to do a shopping ban. Why? Well, sheesh, what if you fail? You’ll look so silly to your friends, fellow bloggers, and your family. ACK!
This is the exact reason why you have to do it. And with each passing day, get up and try again. So you slipped up yesterday, today is a new chance to combat resistance and go at it again.
Why? For the exact reason fear doesn’t want you to do it…you just might WIN. You might learn, grow, and challenge yourself in the process.
Part two looks at combating resistance, and part three looks at the higher realm, beyond resistance.
The book’s main purpose is to help all creative types and more specifically, writers to get past writers block by first venturing into all those things we do to avoid and resist doing anything good in life, such as taking the time to sit down and listen to our muse.
I had many AHA! moments reading this and realized that a lot of the book not only had to do with creativity, but it could also be applied to your finances.
My favourite passage? There were many, but “Resistance and Unhappiness” stood out to me the most about personal finance. What is debt and shopaholism but one big gaping hole of unhappiness and boredom in our lives?
“We feel like hell. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We’re bored, we’re restless. We can’t get no satisfaction.”
“At this point, vices kick in.” – Hello shopping. Am I right?
“What makes it tricky is that we live in a consumer culture that’s acutely aware of this unhappiness and has massed all its profit-seeking artillery to exploit it.”
Oh yes indeed. Exploited am I and all my unhappiness that goes along with it. Without raising our state of mind above unhappiness and boredom, we won’t get out of the consumerist mindset. We lock ourselves in a closet of spending that will only get worse with the guilt and hollow feelings that overspending and debt leave us with.
“We unplug ourselves from the grid by recognizing that we will never cure our restlessness by contributing our disposable income to the bottom line of Bullshit, Inc., but only by doing our work.”
So, my friends – unplug. The only way you will combat your restlessness and avoid resistance in your life is to create and contribute. Show up and do the work. Shopping will only keep you on that treadmill of guilt and hollowness.
Resistance is futile. So surrender. Sit down and write, do that shopping ban, exercise, go for a walk. Do anything besides contributing to the bottom line of Bullshit Inc.
Quotes from The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield