Episode 104 - Resistance is Futile
The Thursday Thesis - 21/06/2018
And then the alien bellowed “Resistance is futile, earthling!”
I used to love those old black and white sci-fi B-movies – the ones with titles like The Day The Earth Stood Still, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and the wonderful Invaders From Mars – when they cropped up on the BBC, late at night.
Resistance may be futile in the face of Gort, the inscrutable giant robot in The Day the Earth Stood Still, but what I’m thinking about today is a different kind of resistance: not a fictional alien threat arriving from outer space, but a real and thoroughly human kind of Resistance.
Call it Fear, call it procrastination, call it what you will – whatever stops you from beginning that one thing you’ve always said you’d do some day – that’s Resisatance.
Perhaps the author Stephen Pressfield put it best in his book The War of Art: “Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That's why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there'd be no Resistance.”
A man could catch religion from reading a thing like that...
“Fear is good... fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do...The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
The thing that matters most to us, you and I, is the thing we are least likely to do. It’s absurd and messed-up, but it’s the truth, nonetheless.
Why do we fear to do the thing that matters most to us?
Because it matters to us.
Does it matter to anyone else, your mum and dad, your old schoolteacher, the lady in the corner shop?
No, of course not!
Most of these people are utterly indifferent to what you do: come to think of it, most of the people on the planet don’t care at all about what you are doing.
If you knew how little time other people spent thinking about you and your stuff, you’d be disappointed: most of them don’t think of you at all you’re not around.
The Universe doesn’t give a toss about you – so what are you afraid of?
The Universe is way too busy to notice anything we are likely to do, create, build, or invent – it’s just too big, too busy and too dark to know we even exist.
All that Resistance comes from inside of you and inside of me; but here’s the thing about Resistance: it’s useful.
Resistance can guide us and point us in the direction we already know we want to go. When we feel the fear and the repulsive force that stirs in us when we contemplate the big thing that matters to us, I believe it’s a strong indicator of the direction we must go.
If the thing scares us – we must go towards it. We must go resolutely towards it and brave the pushback and fear that is Resistance. Our degree of fear will ratchet up as the significance and importance of the task rises – as it becomes more personally significant to us.
Resistance is our Pole Star – the True North of our lives. Let’s see where our compass points and set our course towards the dark black heart of Resistance, through the badlands, deserts and jungles where the bandits, dragons and wraiths lie in wait for us...
What scares you most?
What would you dare to do, if failure was impossible?
What would you dare to do, if your ultimate success was assured?
What is the biggest, most audacious thing you can imagine doing?
That’s what you should do.
Link to: The War of Art
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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