What’s stopping you doing great work?

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Over the break, I found time to review some old movie and TV classics. Much to my family’s joy! I am a bit of a musical tragic and loved re-watching ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. We are also working our way through the still excellent ‘The West Wing’. (Would that there really was such a smart, passionate and selfless team of people leading the free world!)

Though dated, the quality of the writing and the ideas shine through. The deep messages in both take on new meaning as our own experience evolves.

In the same vein, I re-read ‘DO THE WORK’, a brilliant book by Steven Pressfield. It’s the kind of book we all need to read and re-read every few months. Understanding the central idea is so important in keeping your 2021 on a growth trajectory.

What’s holding you back?
The book talks about what is stopping us doing important work. The work we know we need to do. It could be a work project, something physical, perhaps building a culture, a community or a creative project.

You will know what YOUR ‘work’ is. (Right now, mine is building and populating an online leadership learning platform). If you don’t know, it means you are treading water or stuck in same old same old. Go and find some!

By definition, your work will never be easy. Pressfield says it is;

“Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favour of long-term growth, health, or integrity”

Whatever it is, there is a force that rises up to oppose our completing it. The book calls it ‘Resistance’ and explores its many facets. It takes many forms, including;

self-doubt,
distraction,
denial,
procrastination,
fear of failure,
fear of success

We can hide in our intelligence, status and habits when we need to take primitive immediate action.

We can be discouraged by friends and family who (whilst loving us) really don’t want us to change (because doing important work changes us).

Sound familiar?
If any of this resonates, it’s because this ‘Resistance’ lives inside all of us. It is what stops all of us – if we let it.

As we start a new year, it’s time to tackle your ‘Resistance’. You do that by building your allies to get the work done. Pressfield calls these;

Stupidity
Stubbornness
Blind faith
Passion
Assistance (the opposite if ‘Resistance’)
Friends and family (I know – weren’t they also part of the problem?)

It starts with TAKING ACTION now

1.    Buy the book. It is $15 and next day delivery on Amazon.

2.    READ the book!

3.    Start doing YOUR work that matters.

Help will come
As a final thought, it’s important to realise you will not be alone on your journey. But you must take the first step. You will need to commit. Courage is rewarded. As mountaineer W.H.Murray wrote:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

We’ve got important work to do.

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