I discovered I have two lives
There’s the life I have and the life I wish I have. Two, very different lives. We all have them. The internal feelings weren’t new, but the discovery was. I learned that the choice was up to me. I had to pick.
It’s a question of overcoming the resistance
Steven Pressfield explains the resistance best in The War of Art. Steven is a master. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to make a difference. I keep the audio version of this one in my phone. I play it once a month, at least. The resistance is anything I blame, which prevents me from doing my work that matters most.
Notice I wrote ‘anything I blame.’
I looked to the external as my excuse for the avoidance of the work. I was waiting and I would be waiting much longer if I hadn’t received that pearl of wisdom at the beginning of this post.
- I waited for the motivation
- I waited to feel better
- I waited for permission
- I waited for the right time of day
- I waited for a sign
- I waited for the fear to go away
- I waited for the resistance to stop
Something funny happenedI discovered I was in control. I discovered I had to do the work every day, to ship art every day. This was my purpose. I stopped blaming the resistance. I sat down and I got to work.
You can’t run from this work. It calls on you when you sleep. You can’t force any kind of work. You were born to do a certain type of work, and not others. You can’t do any work. You have to do the work.
I discovered the resistance masks the work. The resistance is everywhere and it’s really easy to let it to stop the work. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to resistance and allow yourself to be comforted by it. Avoiding the fear is comfortable, but I found that it didn’t get me closer to my purpose.
My work scares the hell out of me every day
Fear is the greatest indicator you’re on the right path. Our brains are hardwired to be change-resistant. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel fear. Here are some of the fears that scare me every day:
- Will my audience like my work?
- Am I good enough to do the work?
- Will I find the motivation to do my work before I go to bed?
- Will my family support my work?
- Will my work fulfill its purpose?
I figured out the cure for all these fears–practicing my work every day, no matter how I feel. Sitting down and doing the work. All I have to do is get started and the rest of it no longer feels important. The fear is always there, waiting for me to slip.
It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it every day
When I discovered my work that matters most, I was given a choice. I could follow the the right life or the wrong life, but I had to pick. The decision was that simple. The work is hard and dirty. The process is long and fraught with peril, but the decision was simple.
The professional ships art every day. The amateur talks about it.
It took me 40 years to discover my true calling–my work that matters most. Now, every day I help people uncover theirs. I have students who range from investors to CFOs, stay-at-home parents to Facebook executives, event planners to accountants. I helped them find their way. Perhaps I can help you find yours. I help people all over the world.
Finding the work is the hard part. Doing the work is harder, but if you do the work every day (as I learned) it makes the resistance much easier to ignore.
The time you have on this planet is precious. I found that the longer I avoided my work, the harder it was to get started. I waited a long time and I found that it’s never to late to get started.
The right work is the difference between ease and disease.
When you do the wrong work you lead the wrong life. When my life was out of whack I felt ill. I had no energy. I went through the motions. I phoned it in. I hated my work.
When I found my work that matters most, a new fire grew inside me. Every day is still a challenge. Nothing about this process is easy, and I wouldn’t say that it’s always fun either. However, I know it’s the right work. I hope you find your work, not matter what method you choose.
In your service,
J D Yoder
P.S. Think about that Kung Fu Panda quote. Really think about it. We are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit.