The gray days of February are getting to me. Going from Thursday to Blursday, I’m running low on motivation.
My January must-do goals for this year have faded into a vague fog of aspiration-past.
I need a little boost.
I hear you. There can be a sameness to our virtual lives and inertia oozes in and settles.
Once the reality of Covid permeated our lives last spring, a lot of us dreamed of tackling that big project of ours that has been on a way-back burner. It’s that project that turns up every January on our annual list of resolutions.
I have one of those projects.
I had those aspirations last spring. 2020 has come and gone.
Aside from some basic self-care, handling the must-do work, and reaching out to socialize for fun and mental health, I want to embrace my personal project.
I need to do it. The process will be rewarding. Plus, it will anchor me.
But how to break through the procrastination?
I recently reconnected with an author who I have found to be relatable, practical and, ultimately, inspiring.
Steven Pressfield’s classic The War of Art and his more recent Turning Pro are short, direct gems.
Pressfield confronts head on the illusions we create for ourselves that enable us to procrastinate.
The consistent message in these short, accessible books is that we avoid getting what we really want—and honoring ourselves by being ourselves fully – because of our Resistance.
He proceeds to expose Resistance for the imposter that it is.
“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance,” he writes.
Pressfield notes we can conjure up so many excuses, rationalizations, emotional gymnastics.
They are all in response to our fears and they conspire to keep us from what we want to achieve and who we want to be.
In the first section of The War of Art, Pressfield defines our Resistance as an enemy and shines a light on our gyrations to expose their fraudulent nature.
The next section, Combating Resistance, he offers a solution: Turning Pro.
In his language, the amateur self-sabotages as a way to avoid risk and also realizing the possibilities we most desire for ourselves.
As the pro, we find the gumption to risk claiming our power, our voice, our self-respect.
In the last section, Beyond Resistance, he explores the mysteries of inspiration and creativity as well as the necessity of discipline to buckle down and do the work.
As a writer, Pressfield’s focus is mostly about writing and artistic endeavors in general.
Even so, the thought process can apply to other areas of life like career ambitions, personal fulfillment or anything that has real meaning.
If your personal yearning is less artistic in nature, you might start with Turning Pro. Both books are gems and provide an edge in supporting us to move closer to manifesting our best self.
Pressfield is the first to acknowledge that the process is tough. He also invites us to imagine the joy and personal fulfillment of breaking through.
While Pressfield’s approach is humble, compassionate and emotionally vulnerable, it ultimately carries the invitation of Just Do It.
The message is clear: the way forward is not over, under or around – but through.
From the Watercooler
You can’t complain about it
if you’re not willing to do something about it.