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Resistance is useless


I am struggling today with getting started.

I see the opportunity. But will I do anything about it? Before it’s too late? And “if you see a bandwagon it’s too late to jump on it …” as my old friend Damien reminded me just the other day.

Artists and writers of all kinds know about “resistance”. So do psychologists and therapists. Everything gets in the way of change – whether it be the higher desire to create (write, paint, draw, make music). Or the need to improve our lives. To stop being depressed. To achieve things we would like to achieve.

Experts in ‘change’ know about these things too. But I can’t really get to grips with many of these theories. Personally, I favour approaches where change emerges bottom-up rather than being “managed-in” from the top down. I could easily spend a few days thinking about this, working it out, burning some brain-energy.

If I did, of course, it would probably be just more resistance. If you’re truly interested in that topic I’ll recommend Steven Pressfield’s the War of Art. Three sections spell it out: what resistance is, combating it, and what happens when you get beyond it.

But the real answer for me, the way to get beyond resistance in a single step, to stop procrastinating, to suddenly find yourself doing what you know in your heart of hearts is the right thing, to suddenly find yourself in the middle of the process of addressing the opportunity of sustainability (as opposed to thinking about it, talking about it, and getting ready to start) is to Do Something Different.

Do Something Different is a phrase coined by some psychologist friends of mine, Ben Fletcher and Karen Pine. Of course there’s a convincing theory behind it. You can read about it in one of their books – which happens to be about changing eating habits.

But the truth is – the phrase itself says it all. Do something different from what you normally do. Strangely, it doesn’t even have to be anything to do with your objective. Just do anything at all, as long as it’s different. Do one thing different, then another the next day, and so on.

You’ll be different. And things will be different. They’ll be different from the very first action you take that is different, and your world will change.

And that’s the easy the way to get started. No motivation required. Resistance is useless.

Author: Pete Burden

New ways to organise and lead - for people with 'purpose' #leadership #inquiry #noticing #complexity #communication

3 thoughts on “Resistance is useless

  1. Great insight! I concur fully! That’s exactly how the journey began for me. I parked my car and began to commute by bus. It was a matter of air pollution and expense as my employer wanted $100 per month for parking. That turned into a leadership position with the Central Florida Sierra Club. That became a promotion to group chairman within Sierra and that turned into a co-founding role in the Green Earth Expo.

    It was a predictable progression except that I couldn’t see it. The only thing which prevented me from doing it sooner was my own insane struggle with conformity and convention.

  2. Pingback: Do less, do it differently « Conscious Business

  3. Pingback: Enough is enough « Conscious Business

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