You didn’t get the promotion you were hoping for, and it hurts. You are currently doing the job, but you have neither the title nor the security the title provides. You have been working hard for this. You feel like you deserve it, but you didn’t get it. Now you have to get over it. And just maybe, it doesn’t really even matter. So you need to move on. You cannot wallow or feel sorry for yourself. Not getting that job may have been the best thing for you.
Do not ask for what you will wish you had not got. –Seneca
You could have ridden this job into retirement. You could have coasted into old age doing something that was easy and comfortable. You could have relaxed and settled. You might lose your edge, but that’s okay, because there would have been nothing left to fight for. But wasn’t this job only a holdover until you could do the things you wanted? Wasn’t this supposed to be a temporary solution now to get the food on the table? You don’t want to grow old and at the twilight of your life say, “This is what I have done. I gave all my years to the company.” What were you to that company anyway? A vital part or just a number? Would you have left an unfillable void or would the next number come in to replace you? The twenty or forty years at the factory wasn’t easy. It took a toll on your body. It took a toll on your family. It wasn’t the easiest path to take, but it was the one with the least resistance. It was the easy way to grow old. The dreams you had in your youth were just dreams. As an adult, you left those childish dreams aside. Instead of realizing your dreams, you punched a timeclock.
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance. –Steven Pressfield
Last week I read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. This book reached down into my core. It opened my eyes. For the first time, I had the name of the enemy that has been plaguing me my whole life. The sad thing is that I never knew I was in a war against an enemy, one that is relentless and will attack whether or not you are fighting back. How do you fight an unknown enemy?
If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt. -From Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”
So who or what is this enemy? Its name is Resistance. What is resistance? It is that voice telling you to delay doing the things you know and believe you should do. It is telling you to take another drink, to eat another cupcake, and to start that diet tomorrow instead of today. It is the one telling you later, not now. Resistance is the soft warmth of your bed beckoning you to hit that snooze button. It is the voice telling you that you will never be good enough so don’t even bother trying. Resistance says that your hopes and dreams can be put on hold until the time is right. We all have an adversary named Resistance.
The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew each day. –Steven Pressfield.
Every day. The enemy, Resistance, is there waiting to attack. Sun Tzu said that one of the best ways to attack is to look for a weakness in your opponent. Resistance knows your weaknesses. It attacks when you are the most vulnerable to giving in. If you don’t do battle against the enemy every day, then all those aspirations you have in life will amount to nothing. Your dreams will be just that, dreams.
Questions to ask yourself:
• Was there something I wanted to create but didn’t?
• Did I delay building my business, because something else came up?
• Did I say to myself just one more show on Netflix and then I will get started?
• Did I not pursue my dreams because life got in the way?
I have used that last line plenty in the past. So much I wanted to do, but life got in the way. Life will always get in the way if you let it. Who is in control? Are you in control of your life or are you being controlled by outside factors? Life didn’t get in the way. Resistance got in the way.
Well spoken, Tony!
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