Overcoming The Resistance: Rationalization Bites

Stephen Pressfield writes in the War of Art that "Rationalization is Resistance's spin doctor."

It's true.  Whenever the opportunity presents itself for us to fulfill our calling, to seek the higher purpose, to make our art to write that novel...

We rationalize a million different reasons why it won't work, we can't start, we have other, more important things to do.

And sometimes these reasons seem so valid and on point.

This week I experienced a bit of that rationalization.  I am working on my doctoral degree, which means that twice a year I go into learning/paper writing/going to school mode.  It means that I am away from home for two weeks at a time in June and then again in January.  It means that I will be reading  a ton of books and doing assignments before I go, and then reading a ton of books and writing a paper or three after I get back.

And the further I get into the process, the harder it has been to maintain it.

This week the refrigerator broke, my son's car blew a radiator, my wife gamely has been keeping the family going and then some in my absence.  She has held my oldest son on task for his summer classes at the community college, my eight year old entertained at her office and has run interference for my not-quite-two-year old pretty much every where else.

In addition, she has her own law practice and real estate business that she is running and has been keeping all of the scheduled events and programs at church as our family's representative while I am away.

More than once during these difficult weeks I thought about why I had started to begin with.  The Rationalization of Resistance was pretty valid, pretty on point, and way insidious.  

My wife, my family, my church needed me, and here I was in class several hundred miles away working on my doctorate for goodness sake.

I whined to her once or twice about the difficulty of it all.  "Is this really worth it? I asked her via text because it was easier and more antiseptic to type into my phone than to have her hear my voice.

"SO worth it," she responded.  This from the woman who was dog tired, brain fried and completely hung out to dry while I enjoyed some solitude in a hotel room by the beach.

Pressfield points out that Tolstoy had thirteen kids and wrote War and Peace.

And this proves that Resistance can be beaten.

The fact that Resistance can be beaten hangs on the walls of every major art gallery in the world---lines every book shelf of every book store---is evidenced by the weary, exultant scholar standing on the dais receiving her degree at long last.

Here's something you need to know about overcoming Resistance.  You need someone in your life---maybe a bunch of someone's---who believe that what you are doing to create, better yourself, the world, whatever is so important and vital that you have to do it despite the valid and on point Rationalizations.

You are a warrior.  They are your shield bearer.

They won't lie to you.  They will tell you that it's hard.  They will also make sure that you don't quit because they believe that you will press the battle forward and defeat Resistance to create something beautiful and worthy.

And if you die trying, they will bear your body home on your shield, baby.

But you won't care.

You went out in a blaze of glory.

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