You don’t need more genius. You need less resistance.
— Seth Godin
I love the high summits. I can see forever.
I love to feel the wind on my face, revel in the exaltation, bask in the sense of accomplishment. Weeks, months, sometimes years of effort, wrapped up into a single glorious moment.
But most of my time isn’t spent on the summits. It’s spent in the valleys.
And in the weeds.
I got to the end of last week feeling frustrated and exhausted. Despondent even.
I had done everything right. I had done my weekly planning, my daily goal setting. I had mapped out my most important tasks. Yet, when the week was done, all that I could say was that I had been “busy.” I hadn’t moved the dial on the projects that mattered most: the ones that would change up the game, the ones that would truly make a difference.
I had avoided them.
(Even after writing last week’s blog, I failed to make the choices that really counted.)
“Everyone has a little voice inside their head that’s angry and afraid,” writes Seth Godin. “That voice is resistance – your lizard brain – and it wants you to be average (and safe).”
My friend and mentor, Patrick Combs, says, we don’t identify sufficiently the Immediate Impact Possibilities: the truly significant tasks that have the potential to light our lives on fire. Instead, out of fear, out of habit, and yes, out of resistance, we get caught in the repetitive cycle of minutia. And stay stuck.
The great thought leader John Assaraf goes a step further. He suggests that resistance may be physiological, biochemical. He says that he could provide an audience an exact blueprint for making five times more money. And most of the audience wouldn’t follow it. He says that when presented with an idea that has the potential to move us outside our comfort zones, the cybernetic mechanism in our brains releases a chemical that triggers a thought that allows us to rationalize why we’re ok just where we are: no more, no less.
Resistance may be hard-wired. How scary and depressing is that.
But thankfully we’re not lizards. We still get to choose.
“Real artists ship,” says Steve Jobs. By artists he means all of us: writers, speakers, artists, poets, experts, thought leaders, mavericks, creators, dreamers. People of Might.
Shipping means getting the work done. Getting it out the door. Moving it out into the world. Come hell or high water.
Godin writes, “Shipping isn’t focused on producing a masterpiece (but all masterpieces get shipped). I’ve produced more than a hundred books (most didn’t sell very well), but if I hadn’t, I’d never have had the chance to write this one. Picasso painted more than a thousand paintings, and you can probably name three of them.”
“Not shipping on behalf of your goal of changing the world is often a symptom of resistance,” says Godin. “Call its bluff, ship always, then change the world.”
Only the work that ships matters.
Do the work. Ship the work. Do some more.
Resistance will always be there. But we can choose to climb above it.
Resistance works overtime “to be sure that you won’t do anything remarkable,” writes Godin.
This week, climb above the weeds. Focus on the Immediate Impact Possibilities. Dare to be remarkable.
Lizard is so last week. Don’tcha think?
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