One Connection I Never Thought I'd Make

I'm re-listening to Uncertainty at the moment. Why re-listening? Honestly, I thought I would get more out of it this time.

I'm definitely getting more out of it this time.

In the meantime I'm still struggling with the Un-Fucking Project and its inherent difficulties.

One of the later chapters of Uncertainty goes over the inevitable point in a project when the temptation to quit is overwhelming and when the thought of quitting fills you with such relief that you're absolutely convinced you should give up. We all reach this point in a huge creative endeavor at one point or another and it can literally sink us.

Fields developed a test for knowing whether it truly is time to quit or if the sense of relief is from letting go of the creative angst. If it's letting go of angst it means the project isn't the problem, the resistance is the problem.

His very simple test is a visualization. Imagine its two years from now and your project has to come to fruition in all it's glory. You're reaping the benefits and you've accomplished what you wanted to accomplish with this massive outpouring of creative energy. How do you feel? Where do you feel it? Are you happy and contented?

If the answer is happy, contented, thrilled, and you feel it through your entire body, then the temptation to quit isn't because the project is worth quitting. The temptation to quit is instead from what Steven Pressfield calls the Resistance.

The Resistance is a very difficult concept to translate, but I'll do my best. It's actually better to think of the Resistance as an opposite. Take your calling, your creative endeavors, your very mission in life, that "thing you can't not do", and all of the hard work and delayed gratification that goes into every bit of work towards that goal.

The Resistance is the opposite.

The Resistance is what tells you your work is futile. The Resistance is what hides in your fears and tells you you can't possibly make it. The Resistance is what tells you to sacrifice tomorrow for today.

In physics terms, if creative energy is an object in motion, the Resistance is what attempts to make that object be at rest instead, and STAY there. It's ruthless and uses every bit of fear and uncertainty in order to keep us from progressing.

So in light of Fields' test I decided to sit down and run the test on my current projects and goals. Some of them required tweaking (the true goal was not what I first envisioned) but most of them survived this test.

One of the results though truly blew me away.

Sure "have another baby" and "get Chris healthy" and "get the kids back and healthy" ranked really high on the "want it so bad I can taste it scale".

They were nothing compared to "make myself sane and healthy."

Turns out what the Un-Fucking Project is designed to bring about is what I want most desperately in this world. To be in control of my life and my destiny and moreover, myself.

It's also the project I feel the most angst and resistance about, to the point of engaging in multiple levels and forms of avoiding the project including rationalizing, bullshitting myself, and outright avoidance.

I never thought to apply the concept of Resistance to the goal of making myself healthy and sane. But then it makes sense.

What greater creative endeavor do any of us have than creating our own life? What will ever top that act of creation?

Fortunately enough I already own Steven Pressfield's book which covers Resistance, The War of Art.

I've started re-reading the War of Art with a whole new appreciation for its meaning.


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