Transform Your Reality: How to Live Your “Unlived” Life
Are you at truly at peace with your life? Would you like to change your reality?
There is a secret that successful people know that unsuccessful people don't. It's not about working hard though successful people do work. Actually, “working” at something is the easy part. What's hard is making up your mind to do it.
According to Stephen Pressfield, author of the life-altering book The War of Art, the force that keeps us from making up our minds to do something isn’t simple indecisiveness. It’s much more complex and crippling than that. Pressfield calls it Resistance.
Pressfield goes on to state that most of us have two lives. We have the life that we live day to day. We go to our job, spend time with the family, go to bed, and then get ready to do it all again the next day. Then there is the other life. This is the one that we do not live but yet is inside us waiting to be experienced. Standing between the two is Resistance.
What is this Resistance?
Here are some examples of Resistance at work. You buy a piece of exercise equipment that grows cobwebs in the corner of your bedroom. You enroll in gym class or visit a diet center only to give it up after a couple of weeks. You'd love to be a teacher, social worker, government official, environmental protector or an advocate for world peace… but something stops you. Does this sound familiar? If so, you've had personal experience with Resistance.
In a world where disease, despair, and poverty often seems to reign, the unhappiness that comes from these conditions is nothing compared to the toxic effects Resistance can have on our lives. Resistance does more than ravage our mind and body as diseases may. It goes even farther. Resistance crushes our spirit. When we yield to Resistance we agree to become less that we were meant to be.
No one is immune to the lethal force of Resistance. It can stalk you most of your life and when it finally hits, it blindsides you. Make no mistake, it's a mighty enemy and it can lurk in every corner and recess of your mind.
Were it not for Resistance, there would be far less alcoholics and drug addicts in the world, far less disease and mental illness, far less heartbreak. Resistance has us by the throat and the human race pays the price.
Pressfield says it best here:
“If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as with addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff.”
Can you imagine?
Does all this sound fantastical to you? Maybe you should do some soul-searching, because if you're like most people right now there's a small whispering in your ear telling you what you need to live your unlived life. And what's really crazy is though you may hear it as you've heard it thousands of times before chances are you won't do anything about it today or tomorrow. That's because Resistance will bury you first.
How to fight Resistance.
So how do you fight Resistance? That's the million-dollar question. If the answer were easy, Resistance would've been beaten to a pulp millennia ago. Stephen Pressfield wrote an entire book on the subject so it’s not something that can be condensed into a nice little paragraph. But here’s the first step.
This may fly in the face of conventional “feel good” advice but Pressfield says before you can be happy and content you have to be prepared to be miserable. If you're a struggling artist, writer, or any creative or entrepreneurial spirit waiting to be set free, learning to be miserable will be invaluable to you. And if you've committed yourself to an unlived calling you have to be ready for rejection, isolation, and self-doubt. Once you are, then you're ready for the fight.
Resistance despises Pros.
When pursuing a new career you have to act as if you're already a professional in that career. Most of us have jobs so we know to some degree how to do that. The first thing is that you have to show up each and every day whether you feel like it or not. We've all staggered into work sick not because we wanted to, but because we needed to or didn't want to let anyone down. And we stayed there most of the day. We don't leave until it's time to go home. And even if you take another job with another company you're committed for the long haul. That's because you realize that this is about surviving.
Yet most of us do not live these principles to our unlived life. If we would just take the first steps in treating the life we want as if we already have it–we show up for it each day and we work towards it until it's time to go home, we stay committed for the long haul because we know the survival of our spirit depends on it, we could deliver the first crushing blows to Resistance.
According to The War of Art, this is how you begin to change your reality. It's more than a mindset. It’s war and it requires decisive action.