We’re all trying our best!
For most of us, we kinda wake up in the morning and kinda think about the things that need to get done. We might even make a little list. Then the day starts, and we are swept along by its demands. We have our list of To Do’s, but often-times, it seems like life has its own list of To Do’s and it usually looks quite different to ours. My list may read something like… “Create a thing of beauty today” while life would be more concerned with creating a beautifully clean desk. I have my list right in front of me, but I will look at the easier option i.e. the clearing of the office space and go for that.
Why is this?
For one, “creating a thing of beauty” is quite a lofty goal to achieve and it scares me, because it is not familiar. I would seriously have to step out of my comfort zone and walk down an unfamiliar path. That is scary stuff!
I felt inspired the other day, and actually took some time off to plan my goals for the next few years. I started the exercise by asking myself what I would like to do over the next 5 years, if anything were possible. This is exciting stuff. You are allowed to be like a kid and just let your imagination fly freely.
I for one, wanted to spend more time writing (amongst other things).
I resolved to write for an hour every morning. My plan was set, and I felt quite good about the future. Then, last night, I was sitting outside and picked up my notes and I reviewed what I had written and planned. Remembering that I was feeling particularly optimistic when I wrote the list, I now thought: ”What the fuck were you thinking…?”
Who was I to think that I could change my world with words? The plan looked far too ambitious and it looked like I was setting myself up for serious disappointment. I am not someone one special. I am not going to achieve this in my life! This list should be reserved for people who really aregreat! (Perhaps I should send my list to Elon Musk to have a crack at it.) Who the heck was I to have a 5 year goal that would influence people for the better?
You know that feeling when a cloud passes overhead and casts a shadow on the ground below it?! Things go a little dark. Well, the list review had that effect on me…
I was disappointed with myself, for having written down unachievable goals, but it did get me thinking and wondering about that cloud. They say that you should aim for the stars, if you want to hit the ceiling. (Cliche’s are born from truths and there is truth in this one.)
Why was it that I was not comfortable with my list?
Did it assume that I was going to achieve something incredible?
(Yes, to me it would be incredible.)
Had similar things been done before? — Yes, a thousand times and possible by others who had even less chance of achieving it.
This inner dialogue that I am referring to comes from a force that is within all of us. It is a dark force that will kill more dreams that anything other force on the planet, and it is called resistance. It is the voice of reason. It is the voice that tells us to stay in our box and be good children. It is the voice that wants to keep us safe from disappointment. Why even try something outlandish when there are a million and one other things that actually do need doing? Why are you even spending time trying to do this when you have bills to pay, car papers to sort out and grannies to visit…? (chimes the voice in your head) It is a force that will put holes of doubt into the boat that carries our dreams. It settles down on our shoulders like a crow and whispers sweet words of discouragement into our ears, “What were you thinking? Just get busy with the important things and you can always start that project tomorrow.”
I have more cliche’s for you. We’ve all heard that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a footstep?! If you don’t take the first steps, then you will never know where the journey will take you. “I will start tomorrow, after I have done the other more urgent things”, is a dialogue that we all play out in our heads. Tomorrow turns into the day after that. — and then there is the day after…. — and so it goes.
I want to say this:
Your dreams and grand idea’s come to you because they have chosen you as a conduit. They want to be birthed into this world by you. If you ignore them, or let them wilt from neglect against the backdrop of your busy life, then they will move on and find another who will be able to set them free into the universe. Imagine that there is a mighty battle raging overhead. There are angels of light that want you to do extraordinary things. They want your creative spirit to make beautiful things that will make this world a better place. Then there is the force of darkness. — This force is a dream killer, constantly looking for ways to sabotage. This force is wilier than the most evil hollywood creations. Sometimes resistance disguises himself as busy-ness. (Yeah, I’ll get to that later, but I am just so busy right now) Sometimes resistance is able to plant the seeds of doubt, disguised as common sense. (I don’t want to fail, ‘cos they will laugh at me) You have, in your arsenal, one secret weapon, that can banish this black crow from your life, and it’s called ACTION!
Action is the enemy of resistance! In doing, you bind yourself to yourself and to that which you were put here on this earth to do. Every time you take a little action, (no, not cleaning up your desk), you land a blow for your angels, the forces of good in this world. They are rooting for you to do what you thought you could not. — but remember, the black crow that is resistance… He does not sleep. He is wants you to take the easy route and then he wants to snigger as you join the ranks of the countless souls who are leading lives of quiet desperation.
My battle with resistance is a daily one. This little story is proof that I have won the battle for today. Tomorrow is groundhog day and the battle continues as if nothing was ever won.
Finally, I offer you one of my favourite poems by Charles Bukowsky.
Laughing Heart –
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight