I was struggling, I had spent f*cking ages writing a blog post. I mean literally ages. (Going to be a shameless bastard and put a link to it as I personally think its banging,
(Going to be a shameless bastard and put a link to it as I personally think its banging, hopefully you do too!)
It was the one about David Bowie, George Michael and Prince dying and what we could learn from their legacy’s.
I thought it was current, powerful, witty and engaging.
When I hit the publish button on WordPress.
‘OIIIII OIIII let’s be having it’
*shuffling in the mirror to Disclosure’s White Noise*
‘This ones gunna go down a storm!’
No one read it.
I thought about fucking this whole thing off, people had lost interested, I was never going to take it anywhere. ‘Whats the point Pope?’
Fuck It. Pub. Pints. Jaegers.
Pub. Pints. Jaegers.
I woke up like this…
Praying someone would read the bloody thing…
No one had read it.
I was seriously miffed, a glum and hungover, but this was about to change…
Enter Steven Pressfield and his book ‘The War of Art’
Seth Godin, the guy who wrote ‘Linchpin’, I love this guy, so much so I did a post on Four Vital Lessons Taken from Linchpin … Anyway, I was listening to Seth on the Tim Ferris Show, highly suggest checking this out btw- and Seth said this…
If you’re struggling with anything, writing, life, work, jobs, exercise- you MUST read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art
Hungover as Hell, I knew before I hit the McD’s I needed to hit the order button an Amazon. Prime’d the shit out of it and was delivered that evening.
After copious amounts of water, Berroca and munch- I was good to rock and roll.
It’s a short book, 165 pages in fact.
Like a famished school kid attacks his packet of Monster Munch and Fanta Twist on the way home from school, I got this literary genuis in my belly a.s.a.p.
If your worried about your career, your job, where your going in life, why your not doing things that fulfill you, ignite fire in your belly… THIS BOOK ANSWERS THOSE CONCERNS
Here are the important lessons we need to take from the book..
Lesson One: The Resistance
(BTW) anything in Italics is direct quotes taken from the book
Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. Its a repelling force. Its negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.
What does Resistance feel like?
First, unhappiness. We feel like hell. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We’re bored. We’re restless. We can’t get no satisfaction. There’s guilt but we cant put our finger on the source. We want to go back to bed; we want to get up and party. We feel unloved and unlovable. We’re disgusted. We hate our lives. We hate ourselves.
Sounds like life right, I know. It isn’t. It’s Resistance.
Resistance is this thing that we all experience a.k.a. The Voice in our heads.
It’s the voice that says ‘I cannot be fucked in the slightest to go the gym’
It’s the voice that says ‘Can I get a large fries with that’
It’s the voice that says ‘I’ll revise tomorrow’.
It’s the voice that says ‘Fuck it, I’m going to the pub’
It’s the voice that stops us from doing everything we really want to do.
When my blog post failed, Resistance grabbed me by the balls, slung me around his head and threw me into my local pub. Resistance ordered pint after pint after pint. Resistance grabbed me by the hands and joyfully walked me to the Kebab House ‘Large Donner Please pal’. Resistance almost ‘shoved me away, distracted me and prevented me from continuing to write these blogs.’
As Pressfield says the worst thing about Resistance is that we can’t see or feel it. All we know is that it gets in our way and stops us from doing what we really want to do.
I feel by personifying resistance, it makes our life easier in truly understanding it. Its the fat bully at school who wants to nick our sweets, piss in our shoes, beat us up.
The fat bully getts in our way. Resistance gets in our way. You’re trying to do well in class (something that matters), the fat shit is
You’re trying to do well in class (something that matters), the fat shit is lobbing chewing gum at the back of your neck, whilst his hands are down his pants itching his sweaty balls.
You’re trying to do well at sport, the fat shit is trying to trip you up.
You’re trying to network, socialize, make friends, that fat shit will come stomping along and punch you in the face.
Resistance like a silent assassin will do all of the above.
Resistance will make us nervous… stop us going to networking events.
Resistance will make us feel guilty… go raid the fridge…etc. etc.
IT WILL STOP US FROM DOING IMPORTANT THINGS.
As I’m writing this post, Resistance is talking to me- ‘Go on Pope, You’ve done your first draft, go down stairs to the cookie jar, get yourself a Kit Kat and Diet Coke, Heck, Why not go for a smoke??’ See what I mean? It gets in the way of things
What can we do about Resistance?
Pressfield, Thankfully gives us a solution to use resistance to our advantage.
Resistance will stop us from doing what we truly want to do. We can use resistance. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action we must follow before all others.
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.
Ok, so let’s break this down…
Resistance is the voice in our head that STOPS US FROM DOING IMPORTANT THINGS.
The more important a task= the Greater the Resistance
How do we beat Resistance?
I think I’ve found away to take the Resistance bully behind the bike shed and twat the fat odious little creature in the head with a spade.
Change the way you phrase things…
We phrase important things… like this…
I have to go the gym. I have to revise. I have to check emails. I have to get up for work. I have to go to a meeting. I have to go to this networking event.
Resistance will always win when you frame it as “I have to”, everytime you say I have to the bully is hurling abuse at you.
But back to punching that fat shit in the head…
Change the phrasing of things to “I want to… because”
I am slowly but surely beating resistance this way, it could work for you…
I’ve started writing more blogs and been going to the gym more, haven’t stopped smoking (but Hey Ho, Rome wasn’t built in a day!)
You want to go to the gym because you’ll lose fat, build muscle, feel sexy, be more confident, live longer etc.
You want to read emails because you’ll get more business, more dosh= more time to have banging holidays, buy a car, buy a watch (whatever floats your boat)
You want to revise because you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment if you get a 2.1., (not for a corporate job, I hope!)
You want to go to a networking event because you’ll get more business, more contacts etc.
That is how I would beat up the Resistance bully, when it comes to day-to-day shenanigans.
But resistance has a way of actually impacting our life purpose…this brings me on to the ‘next slide’…
Lesson Two: Our Calling and Resistance
We all have a calling. Pressfield describes it as
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.
The un-lived life within us… our calling is what we really want to do. Confused? Yep so was I.
The easiest way to conceptualize this, think of Fleetwood Mac. Think of their song ‘Everywhere’ which is an absolute banger.
Instead of Annie Lennox (lead singer) singing the words and their meaning to you from a stage, whilst she’s off her tits on acid circa 1975.
Instead, Imagine this…its the feeling in your gut, the feeling of excitement passion, enthusiasm, fire etc. it is that feeling singing the Fleetwood Mac lyrics to you… lets go through them
‘Can you hear me calling
Out your name’
That feeling deep down is trying to get your attention ‘can you hear it calling’ – your name. NO ONE ELSE’s. That feeling is trying to get you to do what you truly want to, it could be setting up a Paper clip business, it could literally be anything. BUT it is yours, and yours only.
I want to be with you everywhere
I want to be with you everywhere’
You’re calling. You’re dream. No matter what job you take will always be with you. You can’t escape your calling, it well never leave you, when you 30, 50, 70 you will always have your calling burning deep down.
We better make a start
You better make it soon
Before you break my heart’
Start listening to your calling. Start following your passion, otherwise, you’ll end up in a corporate job 20 years from now with a ‘broken heart’.
I’ve got a good friend, who is listening to his calling right now, he LEFT the corporate job and is starting selling Food out of a truck.
Why? His calling, his passion, his burning desire is for Food. Food follows him everywhere, if he doesn’t follow his passion for Food, he will be left heart broken.
Lesson 3: Why do Business schools AMPLIFY Resistance and get in the way of our CALLING??
“Resistance Recruits Allies and prevents our calling”
Business school’s provide The Resistance with a load of Allies…
The resistance bully has grown pubes now, his voice is starting to break, he’s the ‘lad around town’, smoking Chesterfield Reds at lunch break and now this little shit has got a little possey, DemCrew, all in Huraches, dabbing to Stormzy, the reincarnation of #POGBACK
The resistance bully with his allies (crew) will try even harder to get in the way of your calling.
When one begins to over come her resistance, she may find that those close to her begin acting strange. They may become moody or sullen, they may accuse her awakening of “changing” of “not being the person she was”. The closer these people are to the person trying over come her resistance, the more bizarrely they will act and the more emotion they will put behind their actions. They are trying to sabotage her.
The reason is that they are struggling, consciously or unconsciously against their own Resistance.
You find your calling at business school. You know you want set up your own business. Pursue your passion.
The Resistance bully will recruit every single other student in the lecture theatre, place them in Hurache’s and turn them against YOU and YOUR calling.
“Whens your assessment center?”
“How many have you applied for?”
“I’ve got a few applications to send off”
Resistance is pumping through the conversation, making you feel out of place and insecure, if your not following the crowd by applying for gradschemes.
This is compounded when you look around the lecture theater…
You look around mid-lecture, no one is listening to the poor sod center stage. Everyone is masturbating over grad-scheme websites as if they’ve just stumbled upon porn for the first time…
‘AHHHHHHHHHHH JP. MOORRRRRGAAAAAAAAAN, YOUUUUUU SOOOO GOOOOODD!’
To turn around and say I’m not doing that, I’m setting up my own business. You feel like the odd one out. Well NO, the Resistance makes you feel like you’re the odd one out.
If you tell your peers your going it alone, pursuing your calling…
‘Ok Mate. Good luck with that’ *turns to friend *- ‘Utter moron’
“Hahaha good luck with that, safer off just getting a corporate job, making money, nice car, nice house”
When Resistance gets allies, suddenly you start talking yourself out of your calling, it pours water over the burning fire you had deep down in your stomach, it turns off the Fleetwood Mac song, it ruins you..
‘Ahhhhh maybe their right, you know what starting a business is so hard, this isn’t for me, I’ll just get a corporate job’
Resistance and my blog:
People have said (when drunk), theres no point in doing this blog? It’ll damage your reputation? You’ll never get a job? Waste of time? You’re a fool!
It’s very easy to listen to the resistance and its allies, let it defeat you, But before I write, I say this:
This is my calling (not in some spiritual shepherd way or Moses parting the Red Sea), just in a way that makes me ignore people’s comments and criticism! To allign my writing style with my calling I say this to myself “Imagine your three pints down at the pub, talking to your mates… thats how I write, whether you like it or not I’m not going to let the resistance take hold of me”
Lesson 4: How to handle Resistance and people getting in the way of your calling?
If you find yourself criticising other people you are probably doing it out of resistance. When we see other people beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived our own.
The people criticizing you in the lecture theatre are scared, they are scared because they know the corporate job will fail to provide them with the ability to live their authentic selves, they will constantly tell you to not follow calling, due to their own fears and insecurities.
Then they’ll say something like this… I’ll work corporate for 5 years or so, then set up on my own… OK MATE.
Pressfield’s answer to this…
Resistance and Procrastination
We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony”. Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony, I’m just going to start tomorrow”
When they say… I’ll work for 5 years, then get the corporate job… they’re listening to their Resistance. The likelihood of them actually doing it, is nil!
SO FUCKING IGNORE THEM BRO.
Lesson 5: How to remove yourself from criticism and following your calling.
The issue many people have, as do I, is that when they set up, they see themselves as part of their business. The two are inseperable. The two are inextricably intertwined.
If our business gets criticism, We get criticism.
If our work gets criticism, we get criticism.
Someone slags off our idea, they are slagging off us.
This couldn’t be more true for my blog, if someone slags it off, I over identitfy with it and thus take it personally. Get proper phalled off!
Pressfield offers a solution for this…
The professional cannot let himself take humiliation personally. Humiliation, like rejection and criticism, is the external reflection of internal Resistance.
An amateur lets the negative opinion of others unman him. He takes external criticism to heart, allowing it to trump his own belief in himself and his work. Resistance loves this.
Making yourself a corporation (or just thinking of yourself in that way) reinforces the idea of professionalism because it separates the artist-doing-the-work from the will and conscious running the show.
If we think of ourselves as a corporation, it gives us a healthy distance on ourselves. We’re less subjective. We don’t take blows personally. We’re more cold blooded
What I take from this… Is if I see my blog as a seperate entity from myself (which admittedly is hard) but then the criticism goes towards that and not the blog.
If my mate takes his Food truck and see’s criticism against the food as an attack on the truck and not on him personally. Then it becomes much easier to ignore criticism, ignore resistance and keep ploughing forward.
So, if you’re stuck with what to do with your career, how to follow your passion, I hope this helps you.
One final thing… I need your help… I am not going to cover this up in a veil of marketing tripe…
Your call to action: I need you to comment on this post if you enjoyed it, and ideally comment with what stuff you want me to write about in the future (makes my life easier) Currently, I’m having to guess what people WANT to read (ball-ache).