I’ve tried pretty much everything in the way of

increasing productivity…

I’ve created to do lists, checklists, and goals for

each day. I’ve dedicated special blocks of every

day to writing, email, product creation, you name


I’ve read books about how to maximize

productivity , how to get more done in less time,

while at a higher quality.

Of everything I’ve read and out of everything

I’ve tried, the greatest ally, tactic, or tip I’ve

come across thus far, was given to me by Steven

Pressfield, in his books, The War of Art and,

Turning Pro.

Both books cover a great deal about what it

means to create something, far beyond what I’m

going to talk about in this article. What they did

that no other book had done before, is position

doing work as a battle. A battle against an enemy

that Pressfield calls, The Resistance.

What is the Resistance?

The Resistance is anything that keeps you from

doing your work. It can be internal, in the form

of fear, worry, or laziness. It can be external in

the form of others who are trying to pry you

away from your mission and your work.

The Resistance has a few definitive


The Resistance is persistent

You can defeat it in battle, even kill it, but it will

always come back the next day. Battle against

the Resistance is a daily endeavor for those of us

who are trying to perfect our craft.

Whether you’re an athlete, a writer, a marketer,

an artist in the conventional sense, or a person

trying to lose a few pounds, but every time you

start a diet, the world seems to conspire to get

you to quite, you’re at war against the


The Resistance is your fear of failure that

prevents you from setting the big, hairy,

audacious goals your soul truly wants to achieve,

set, and create in your life. It’s your sense of

worry that prevents you from aiming high

enough, the voice inside of you that wants to

remain small and safe.

The Resistance has to be defeated if you’re

going to not only write the book your want to

write, paint the painting your soul longs to

create, or get paid to play the game you’re in

love with, but it has to be defeated if you’re

going to live.

Pressfield has one of the most eloquent and eye-

opening definitions of ambition I’ve yet to read:

Ambition, I have come to believe, is the

most primal and sacred fundamental of

our being. To feel ambition and to act

upon it is to embrace the unique calling

of our souls. Not to act upon that

ambition is to turn our backs on

ourselves and on the reason for our


~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

Ambition isn’t merely what you want in life, it is

life. To defeat the Resistance, is to live in

accordance with what your soul truly longs for,

what it feels this thing called life is all about.

The Resistance is cunning

The Resistance will try to rationalize your

laziness. It’s your internal voice that tells you

that the deadline can be pushed to tomorrow,

that it’s “ok” to take just one, insignificant day


The Resistance will trick you if you don’t identify

its existence, and wage war upon it.

If you ignore it, the Resistance will conquer you,

leave you broke, weak, and as far away from

accomplishing your goals, and the object of your

ambition, as you can possibly be.

The only way to understand what it truly is, is to

be aware that the Resistance exists, and it’s

trying to kill you every day.

The Resistance is fear

The Resistance is relentless, persistent, and

cunning. It can take the form of happy thoughts,

of people you love, of selfish desires, but it’s

always grounded, founded, and supported by fear.

Having read Mr. Pressfield’s books many times

over, and waging war against this demon daily, I

still find it hard to determine whether it’s the

Resistance talking, or me. I have to focus to

determine whether it’s a venture – or an

adventure – I truly want to pursue, or one that’s

guided by fear.

Fear always wants to lead us to safer pastures.

Fear isn’t something we should avoid, or move

with, but something we should oppose.

If something scares us, then it’s a pretty good

determinant of something we should be doing,

pursuing, moving towards, and giving every ounce

of our energy to.

It’s the things we fear most, that we often want


Our greatest fears aren’t snakes, crocodiles, or

spiders, but failure in what we’d most like to do

with our lives. Our greatest fears in life are that

we’ll die without doing what our souls know we

should be doing.

When we take the first step to accomplishing this

object of our fear, the Resistance throws

everything it possibly can at us. It puts more on

our plate, reasons with us as to why now isn’t

the time, brings a relationship into our lives, the

death of a loved one, another interest that’s

easier, a route that is safer to take.

The Resistance is real. It’s cunning, persistent,

and relentless

It will attack us when we’re about to embark on

our great journey, or we’re about to realize is

become something real, tangible, a creation.

Identify the enemy if you want to live a strong

life, ignore it if you want to live a small one.

Fight it everyday as the alarm rings and you’d

rather stay in bed. Defeat it with every step

towards perfecting your craft, facing your

fears , and conquering that voice inside of you

that wants nothing more than safety.

If you’re waging this war, and fighting this

battle. I applaud you. You’re one of the few.

What do you think?

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