To Break Free, You Must First Fight Resistance
Ever wondered why time only ever moves in one direction? And wondered how it could be reversed?
Life is filled with a multitude of countdown events.
Whether you are running to catch a train or working the 9 to 5, the inevitable countdown ticks away.
The question I found myself asking the other day was – What lifetime events are we counting down towards?
I can think of such things as my son starting school, planning for our 3 month sabbatical for our 40th or paying off our mortgage early.
These events are meaningful in our lives and have become a thing because we chose to prioritise them.
Prioritising them and achieving these goals, which form a part of our personal freedoms, came by design.
This sounds great except you can actually choose to design your life in a particular way but yet still not achieve anything.
That’s because in order to reverse the countdown of time, you have to give something up first.
In order to break free and create meaning “spaces” in our lives, we must first fight the resistance.
Steven Pressfield captured this well in his must-read book, The War Of Art.
Resistance refers to the external and internal forces in and around our lives that stop us from achieving even the smallest things.
We’re are more distracted today than ever before, and productivity continues to sink as a lot of people give away time to pointless activities.
Fight The Resistance
In order to put up a good fight, we must first look around and recognise what we are fighting against.
For some of you reading this, the enemy might be obvious. Yet for others, they’re are yet to be uncovered.
I’ve fought my own enemies and continue to in various ways. However, we are also winning the war and I can certainly attest to the importance of:
i) Having the right kind of people around you,
ii) Putting the necessary controls in place to stop things happening,
iii) Being careful about what you listen to and read.
In the years we have been on the journey to Financial Independence, enemies have come and gone, and new ones have shown their faces.
Related post: Plot Your Escape. Choose Financial Independence
Below is just a sample of the types of resistance you must fight in order to break free and make Financial Independence a reality in your life.
I’ve put them into a pyramid for easy recollection:
I previously concluded that if you currently have no savings, then the chances are you’re stopping yourself from saving money.
This is probably abit unfair because you might not have known that you and I are constantly being fed with crap to buy every minute of the day.
You might also not have known that the world we live in was not created with billboards and flashing lights everywhere as default.
I must not make any assumptions!
The advertisers give us clues if we pay attention:
What I find particularly frustrating about the push to throw advertising in our faces all the time, is the big drive to target children too.
The TV and YouTube (via smartphones or tablets) are just some of the current distribution machines.
Just think about the potential consequences that await if we are not teaching our children what advertisements represent.
We must not only teach them but also limit their exposure.
Just because you have a TV does not mean it needs to be turned on all the time or even daily.
This is part of what's killing your joy!
Related post: 7 Non-Essentials Holding Your Future Hostage
Advertising has essentially become a part of the environment we live in. You cannot walk down a street in any major City without being sold something.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for business and enterprise. However, it is the effect on the unenlightened that I don’t agree with.
An offer should not always equal to an acceptance.
This way there is no emotional contract in your mind.
It's partly a result of accepting advertising and spending when we feel like it, that has led to many consistently spending more than they earn.
The power of advertising gets deeper when your friends are the ones now advertising the things you shouldn't waste money on.
Think about it, it's this second level of advertising that's most effective because humans naturally compare themselves to others.
When others buy things, they give validity to those things and naturally flaunt them even though the chances are they've been bought with debt.
The fight is real and your resistance MUST be strong.
Fighting this type of resistance should start with a default position of NO to all advertising all the time, with exceptions where absolutely necessary.
Related post: 10 Reasons Why People Spend More Than They Earn
Action point: Decide today that you'll buy nothing new for the next 30 days.
When 30 days comes to an end, move the goal post. You'll soon start to see your money again.
Do you find yourself going to bed at night with your phone by your side? Checking for ‘Like’ notifications for something you posted on Facebook or Instagram?
Maybe you count those ‘Like’ notifications and look forward to them crossing 50 or 100?
Or do you get involved in pointless revolving chats on WhatsApp groups?
Let me guess, we all do it, right? So it’s normal right? It’s not!
Social media is by far the biggest time-wasting invention ever if you're just a consumer.
Sadly, it not only wastes time, but it wastes lives too.
We're the first wave of people in all of human existence to be using social media and the effects have not even had their worst impact yet.
If you currently have notifications turned on on your phone to various social media platforms, I hate to break it to you – You’re addicted, my friend!
I know so many capable and talented people who sit around and moan every day about one thing or another to do with not having enough money. Yawn…
The #1 diagnosis for their inability to start a task and complete it is down to social media.
Been thinking about starting a side hustle but never seem to find the time? Get real with social media use.
One of the best things I ever did before I launched this blog was to track every single activity I did every day for a month.
I downloaded a timesheet app called Work Log and gave myself an hourly rate and pretended I was being paid for every activity I did each day for a month.
My goal with this exercise was to identify where my precious time was going and to gain it back.
The results after one month were revealing. Not only did I waste an awful amount of time on Social Media, what was more revealing was the frequency of check-ins.
And ofcourse with each frequent check-in, there is a real opportunity cost as I most likely abandoned something for this pointless activity.
Now just think about how beautiful life would be if you actually won all your dead time back and spent it with real people. You know, people with real smiles.
Remember – Technology will make the good better and the bad worse.
Related post: 9 Tips For Living A Simpler And More Fulfilling Life
Action point: Eject yourself from 1 – 3 WhatsApp Groups today and turn off ALL notifications on Social Media. Don’t worry about how it may make you look.
Do you get that irritating colleague who just pops by for a chat just when you have important work to do? They start talking and never stop?
Perhaps you are part of one of those 24/7 WhatsApp groups that have become a dumping ground for emojis and pointless debates?
Whatever shape or size they come in, you've got to realise that people around you can either help you or hinder you.
You've got to protect your private space and this includes limiting who you spend time with or listen to.
I don't need to tell you that it's not everyone who's interested in your progress or hustle.
There are many wolves in sheepskin out there, and sometimes, even they don't realise they're being time wasters.
Decline the pointless requests for a coffee and instead focus on using your time to do more value-adding work.
Or schedule very deliberate time with people you truly value and vice versa.
Action point: Write down 5 people you currently spend the most time with. Are they adding value to you personally? If not, you know exactly what to do.
You’re without a doubt your biggest resistance.
Do you have fears about starting something new? Taking a new job? Starting a new business? Meeting new people? Etc
I know this too well because I had so many fears when I wanted to launch this site.
The point Pressfield made in The War Of Art was that the more resistance you experience with something you want to do, the surer you can be that it is the best thing for your personal growth and development.
The more scared you're the more you need to do it to honour yourself.
My question to you is – What have you been sitting on and deferring day after day, week after week?
What are you really afraid of? Other people? Well, I can certainly tell you that they too have fears.
If so, just imagine how rare a human being you’d be if you actually go ahead and do something meaningful with your time.
Most people don’t but rather sit and watch others succeed in life.
Action point: Commit today (before midnight) to spend 1hour on that one thing you've always wanted to do.
- How Fear Can Help You Achieve Financial Independence
- 7 Steps To Designing Your Financial Life
- How Much Money Is Enough?
- Self-Awareness – The Must-have Ingredient For Financial Independence
- 30+ Life Changing Books I Recommend For A Good Life
What Resistance Do You Need To Fight Today In Order to Move Your Life Forward?
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.