I wake up, I get a coffee and chat over breakfast. The sun is up and I walk outside to the beachfront with my coffee and little dog ‘Jack’. I sit and connect with nature for a while. I get home and organise my Diary for the day. The dishes need doing and the lawns are in need of a trim. I want to get the fence fixed and start converting my shed into a studio.
Now I have a choice. Play Guitar? Song write? Write this Blog post? …or do I do all of the little jobs that need doing but aren’t really important. Facebook, youtube,… next thing I know, it’s 11am and I’ve achieved nothing. Now I feel even worse. My energy is low. It now takes real effort to even start a project or go to the gym.
For me…this is ‘Resistance’.
Resistance is better described in the incredible book “The War of Art” – by Steven Pressfield. I recommend it to everyone…seriously everyone!
Resistance is all of those things that prevent us from doing ‘our work’. By that I mean, we are all here with certain gifts and talents. We all have a calling to do ‘our work’.
Resistance turns up in many many forms. It’s fear, doubt, sex, alcohol, drama, relationships, procrastination, depression, anger, materialism…on and on it goes.
Resistance doesn’t want you to follow your dreams and passion. It’s role is to cleverly justify all of the things it can to prevent you from doing your work.
Think of your own guitar practice. How many times have you justified doing it tomorrow… the kids are here. The dishes need doing, my guitar isn’t good enough. I’m tired, the tv is so awesome, my partner is here, I’m not inspired, I’m no good at Guitar, it’s in the case, it’s out of tune, I’ll call my Girlfriend… you fill in the blank.
The only way to overcome resistance is to ‘Do the work’.
The rewards for ‘doing the work’ are immediate and lasting. It infects our day in a positive way. We have more energy and excitement for everything else. We drink less, we eat healthier, we exercise more, we are happier, we feel like we are making a difference (because when we do what we are called to do, we are making a difference). We are inspired by the arts and good things begin to happen to us. Life gets easier.
But everyday is a war. Every morning you have the same choice. Do the work or avoid it.
Learn more about Mark McKenzie on his Google profile.
In keeping with your related advice to put my guitar in the living room and leave it there. I keep it in the center of the room, right between me and the tv and the back door, and the kitchen! Like you, I have a lot of stuff I could be doing with my time on any given day, so sometimes I NEED to be shamed by my lonely guitar. Of course, most of the time it’s more like a friendly invitation that I don’t want to walk past. I know the location is why I pick it up not once but several times a day for short practice times. I’m really dense and slow, so I sure make use of the back button doing your encouraging lessons. Thank you.
Thanks I needed that, 🙂 my partner’s classic comment is “YOU are good… imagine what you could be like if you practiced!!!” I have procrastinated about my guitar playing all my life, (well o.k since I was 11, I am 50 now) and that has led to huge frustration, my own fault of course! Considering how much I have procrastinated I have written some good songs on the guitar too- but my singing is light years ahead of my guitar playing. I am a seasoned performer despite all that and well respected as a vocalist in a few different genres, but it always comes back to the sticking point- my guitar playing. I have a large very caring community of musicians around me and they try and get me doing it – including an amazing funk band that let me showcase my own songs, but once again …my guitar playing let me down…and that moment at a gig when you know you are not “cutting it” is very exposing indeed, I am not ashamed to say. SO, I am hoping to kick my bad habit’s to the kerb and start again here with enthusiasm, I am not beaten yet by any means, Thanks all at Jamorama, and thanks Mark.!!
p.s – I also bought a very posh guitar – wrote them a testimonial which they then put on their website- with my “skills” I was mortified…time to change that 🙂