Stephen Fahey: Overcoming resistance

That nagging voice in the back of your mind, the neighbours, that bully in school, your boss, your parents, your kids, those people on TV, don’t let them get into your head. This is your week and nobody can take it away from you, except you. There’s nothing you can’t do if you put your head on right and keep the negatives out. Whether you’re going for your finals in university, experimenting with a new recipe, writing a book, performing surgery, parenting a teenager through their first breakup or petitioning a new law, whatever it is, you can do it. And you will do it, if you focus.

Remember that all the negatives are drawn to you because they’re drawn to potential. It’s what they feed on. So when you meet negative resistance remember that its presence is nothing more than tangible proof of your potential. Resistance is smelly, and ugly, and oftentimes seems frighteningly powerful. However, it specifically requires your participation in its game. That is to say, if you don’t play its game and just focus on what you’re doing then resistance suffocates like a candle in a sealed jar. It’s only as powerful as you allow it to be.

Unfortunately, not-focusing constitutes doing nothing, which allows resistance to take hold. So, if we aren’t consciously engaged in something, then the resistance is gnawing away at us. But that doesn’t mean that we must forever struggle through every minute of every day. Intent, even in rest, is more than enough to shield us from the negative waves that surround us. Living with intent, living deliberately, is liberating. And it’s free. It’s not even complicated. Simply, it’s a decision. It takes effort and a little practice, but it is not at all as complicated or difficult as resistance wants you to think it is.

There will be days when we are legitimately ill, or exhausted, or preoccupied with responsibilities. But to use such moments, or anything else, as an excuse is to submit our authority over ourselves, over our very lives. A little piece of us dies each time we use an excuse. And the more often we do so, the less of ourselves there is each time we reassume responsibility for ourselves. We all know the great accomplishments of famous scientists and leaders and tyrants, but we each also know of great accomplishments of many private individuals who do not get global recognition – many of whom often declining recognition because they’re too focused on being awesome. We see battles fought in homes and classrooms and hearts every day, just as we see them in the history books. But whether we take from the examples of the famous or those of the little-known, we are seeing the same thing: The extinguishing of resistance by the focusing of effort. No monarch or parent or teacher or student worth their salt, by definition, ever let the inevitable possibilities of negative outcomes outweigh their efforts. Intent beats resistance, every time.

Of course we fail on occasion. Of course we have bad days. Of course we could get hit by a bus tomorrow. But by living with intent we are free of the slimy leech of resistance. Modern life is just as savage as the ancient days when hulking monsters lurked in the woods, if not more so. But we didn’t get here by descending from quitters. We were all born with the strength of survivors and innovators and tough, diligent, successful ancestors in our veins. The only question is what do we intend to do with that power right here and now, today?

Stephen Fahey

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