Last night I was exhausted and that voice was saying I should just stay home and rest. I reflected on how much I would regret not going to jiu-jitsu and decided to ignore that voice and go and train.
As I was walking to jiu-jitsu, my pulled hamstring was bothering me and I could feel how sore I was from my morning workout and that voice was telling me to just train really light and not go hard. When I got to the academy the new Tuesday night instructor put us through the toughest class I have ever taken there. We did an extended warmup with running, jumping, crawling and partner calisthenics. We did multiple 3-minute rounds of guard pass drills for reps (i.e. As many reps as possible in 3 minutes!). We trained multiple 5-minute rounds of live rolling. It was non-stop for 90 minutes.
That voice always tries to sell me short. It always tries to get me to do less, be less, to relax, to rest and to stop trying. That voice is like a drug dealer that pretends to be my friend and tells me what I want to hear, but only wants to get me hooked on the easy fix.
Be on guard for that voice. It comes whispering softly to you and tries to get you to let down your guard and rest. Keep working. Keep fighting. Ignore that voice. Recognize the danger that lurks at the end of the siren song.
The best way to silence that voice is to do the work. Take action and that voice loses its power. Once you are in action you recognize that voice for what it is: resistance, doubt and fear.
Read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art. Then read it again. It is brilliant and to the point. Fight resistance. Resistance is the pernicious voice that keeps your from doing work. It lies to you and makes excuses for you. You have to battle it every day because it is standing between you and your goals. It almost doesn’t matter if you do good work as long as you do something that beats resistance that day. The more days you take off, the stronger resistance gets.
When you read The War of Art, you realize how much time fear and resistance sap away from you. You have so much to offer the world yet you sit on the couch and avoid it. Or you go out and do other things that look like work to avoid doing the really important things. Most importantly after you read this book you will start to get up off your ass and do some work. That’s the best thing you can do.
When you realize that you are being beaten will you stand up and fight or lay there and take the beating? Fight. Fight hard. You are worth it.
I believe we all have those days when we say, “Fuck it! It’s disgusting outside, it’s a crappy day, I deserve to sit on the couch and eat pizza and ice cream.” Once in a while, we need to cut loose and it’s good for our overall mental health to do so. However, I do notice a disturbing trend and that is, I look for those signs and I find them everywhere…all the time.
I find myself thinking those thoughts every time it rains or snows or gets cold or is Friday. The frequency with which that little voice in my head says, “Hey, cut loose and have a good time” increases with each conceit.
How can we tell the difference between when it is a necessary step to keep ourselves sane and when it is a loss to the insidious power of resistance? How do we know when we are reading the signs correctly? Is the Universe telling us to relax and take it easy or is it testing our resolve?
I know how easy it is to succumb, to throw in the towel, to say, “just this one time.” I also know the feeling of satisfaction that comes from meeting your goals and staying the course. Resistance hates momentum. Build up some steam, keep making the better choice, keep fighting resistance and soon your momentum will carry you forward. Read the signs: yellow means go faster!