Quick note from Erik: This is the new weekly email. It is written in a way that allows you to dive deeper in to certain topics. We will share interesting articles, podcasts, videos, quotes, and the likes. For today I have sent it to everyone, however, from next week you can only get it by subscribing to it here.
Are you aware of the concept of Resistance?
It’s a concept coined by American author Steven Pressfield in The War of Art.
“Resistance by definition is self-sabotage.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, read his article Resistance and Self-loathing. A brilliant introduction to the concept, which offers a description of why we have it and why it’s presence means we are headed in the right direction. A comforting notion indeed.
There is even a tease of a solution to our own self-sabotage,
“All we have to do now is sit down and do our work”.
Seems simple enough, but only scratches the surface of the problem.
Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way, helps bring more light to the concept through his encyclopedic knowledge of Stoicism.
Defined as the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.
A philosophic tradition, pioneered by the ancient Greeks & Romans, but most notably by Marcus Aurelius. That name should ring a bell. Remember the film The Gladiator?
Ryan, in this podcast interview with Aubrey Marcus, CEO of Onnit, champions the value of resistance and its role in personal growth.
Stoicism can paint a harsh, often even brutal view of what it takes to succeed. Sometimes, not always, the best tact for all of us.
In this video, Jason Silva, offers a simple, yet elegant, solution to the form of resistance all human beings face. Entropy!
Defined as lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
Essentially the concept that everything, no exclusions, has an ending. From the day we are born we are on a gradual trajectory towards death. A morbid concept yes, but unfortunately that doesn’t make it any less true! Before you get depressed, watch the video, I can assure you it’s not all bad. Actually it’s liberating and makes mister Pressfield’s quote about doing the work all the more relevant.
Why worry about the impermanence living in this meat vehicle we call a body brings?
Why not live our lives doing work that challenges us, forces us to struggle and creates the greatest impact?
Why do we continue to live in the past or think of the future? Both of which we cannot control.
Why do we not fight resistance? Whether it be our own minds, the inevitability of death or external variables out of our control.
We will all face resistance in our lives, from ourselves, from external factors and from just being human. But this is the very nature being human brings.
We often live in the past by saying “I should have done more” or in the future by thinking “I need to be further along.” When the only thing we can control is what we are doing right now, in the present moment. So instead ask yourself. “Am I happy with what I am doing right now?” If the answer is yes, you are fighting resistance like the great Marcus Aurelius. Why do it any other way?
As Dylan Thomas said:
Acta non verba,
The BetterMan Team
Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.