The unlived life is that life we are currently not experiencing. For example, if you drink alcohol now, in your unlived life you don’t. If you currently don’t own a chain of successful restaurants, in your unlived life you do. But the unlived life isn’t a fantasy. It’s actually a possible reality. A reality you could be living but you choose not to. And for most, the unlived life is where success lies. What stands between your life now and the unlived life is Resistance.
Resistance is probably the most effective force to act against what we try to achieve. It cripples our hopes, dreams and uses tools like fear, self-doubt to make sure that we do not get what we set out to achieve. Leaving in its wake unhappy, discouraged, and even miserable versions of ourselves.
No exaggeration. Think about trying to lose weight. If you are like me, every now and then you gain a few pounds. You convince yourself that you must exercise. You even plan when you will begin. How you will do it. But for one reason or another, you never get to start. Weeks later, having gained even more weight, you hate yourself for not taking action. I would seriously even ask myself out loud, “What the hell is wrong with me?”.
The Answer: Resistance.
Just when you are about to begin working on something important is when Resistance shows up. You know you should start learning about gaining followers on Twitter to increase online awareness of your brand. Instead, you check Facebook to see if anyone has uploaded any interesting photos.
You know you should be researching how to set goals but instead, you end up going out with friends on a Friday night. Now, if you string together all these events into what you did and what you should have done, you end up with two different stories: your life, as it HAS happened and your unlived life, as it WOULD HAVE happened.
Don’t get me wrong, hanging out on Friday nights isn’t a meaningless activity. It’s only a problem if deep down you know and feel that you should be doing something else at that time. Like intentionally working on your goals. To succeed, you should live intentionally. Resistance does not want this.
So what does it take to begin living your dream now that we have an understanding of what the true enemy looks like?
I wish there was more I could offer you other than the obvious, but this honestly is the solution. Take that first step. Say no to procrastination by doing what you said you would start doing. I mean, the only other thing I could do for you, other than offer you this advice, is to come to where you are and start moving your legs for you. But are you paralyzed?
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the willingness to act despite it. It’s normal and practical to feel afraid of embarking on a journey towards success. But your success lies outside what is familiar to you right now. Because if it wasn’t, at this very moment, you would be a success story (of course, depending on your understanding of the term success).
You owe it yourself to explore the possibilities of living the unlived life. What could you lose? What could you gain? If becoming a success was easy, everyone would be one. So gather up all the courage you can, and begin moving forward.
There are constant distractions when you begin working towards your goals. Unending waves of temptation to NOT do what matters. You will need to shut off all these distractions and concentrate on getting more done.
It’s not hard getting focused. Staying focused though may be challenging. There are so many ways to develop discipline. One of them is to manage your time more effectively. If you say that you will dedicate 3 hours of every Saturday to working on your tasks, then do just that. No Facebook, no going out, no watching movies, just you and your goals for the next 3 hours.
This post was inspired by the book The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield and a podcast by Michael Hyatt on How To Overcome The Resistance (which was also inspired by Pressfield’s book). I highly recommend it, for it covers the topic above in-depth and even offers practical solutions to help get you to where you need to be.
And with that, I invite you to share your thoughts on the topic and ways you think that Resistance tried to stop you from becoming the person you need to be.
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