Right this moment, whether you realize it or not, you are in a war. The enemy uses guerrilla tactics to distract you from personal greatness. That enemy is constantly pulling you toward the TV, to your email. It prompts you to check Facebook, ESPN, your favorite new site. You can’t help being sucked into wanting the latest and greatest smartphone, tablet, laptop.
When is the last time you sat down and read a book for an afternoon? What are you listening to during your 30 minute commute every day? Can you name 5 things you did out of pure kindness (not as part of your job) for others yesterday? This week? This month? (unless you are a #START person and then your list is long).
Our society is overwhelmed with stimuli from every direction. We focus more on what’s going on with our weekly crime-drama than we do in our own lives. We spend an inordinate amount of time living is a virtual world while missing the real world all around us.
We are being “dumbed-down” as a society. If you don’t believe it, I dare you to watch MTV and feel more intelligent after 5 minutes. There is a force that is trying to keep you distracted so you can’t think, plan, and strategize for a prosperous future. I even find it harder now to concentrate on just reading a book for an hour without the phantom vibration of my smartphone causing me to reach for it, even though it’s been purposely left in the other room.
Steven Pressman talks about “The Resistance” in his book The War of Art. It’s that (evil) force within us that pulls us away from all things creative. The Resistance is working against us and wanting us to accept mediocrity. We, the free thinkers and philosophers, must fight back. You must have a strategy to fight the Resistance that’s keeping you down!
Here’s my personal list of tactics to keep myself from falling into mediocrity:
- Listen to books that promote personal growth during my commute.
- Record the 3 television shows I like and have a catch up session every few weeks with my wife (with popcorn!).
- View my social media sites twice a day for 5 minutes (that’s a big struggle for me).
- Look for every opportunity to make someone’s life just a little better.
- Write down my goals daily (yes, the same list over and over).
- Write daily, whether in my journal, on this blog, somewhere, anywhere
- Avoid the news whenever possible (there’s rarely anything that will affect you severely, and if so, someone will tell you)
- Believe that I can always get better in every aspect of my life.
- Get up immediately after falling
- Don’t feed any negative thought or emotion
Never let the Resistance plant seeds in your mind.
The tactics change, but not the strategy. Write them down and form habits around them. Reward yourself for victories. I’ll write more about that in Habits Part 2, coming soon.
I’d love to hear your tactics as well.
Be awesome (and FIGHT)!