"On the field of the Self stand a knowing and a dragon.
You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon."
-- Steven Pressfield, Do The Work
The road to your dreams is guarded by the ugly trolls of resistance. Ignore them and they can destroy you. Positive thinking doesn't work against them, it merely denies their existence. They are very real. Positive thinking will not remove the trolls guarding the road. Faith, stubbornness and hard work will. Let me tell you a personal story.
A few years ago I have decided to dedicate my life to enable people to live their dreams, especially when they don't have money or start with almost nothing. I walked out of my career in aerospace, put my Ph.D. diploma in a bubble wrap and stepped out into the real world.
My very first project was making the movie THE AMAZING YOU. As with most entrepreneurial ventures, I didn't have the necessary resources. In a giant leap of faith I invested all my life's savings to fly to the U.S. to film the interviews. After three weeks of intense enthusiasm, the money dried out and everything came to a halt.
My life begun crashing under the weight of my dream. I barely had money to eat and the very little income I was earning I was investing back in the film. The situation got so bad that during the winter I had to decide if I buy winter boots or walk in snow in my sneakers and keep investing in my dream. I chose the latter. I broke up with my girlfriend after 6 wonderful years together and I had to move in with a friend because I couldn't afford rent. I have never felt so lonely and such a failure in my entire life as I felt during this period.
And the most painful experience of all was yet to come. My very best friends -- people I've known for many years and whom I brought in to work with me on this project -- have decided to kick me out of my own film. "Who do you think you are to be featured in this movie?" "Your presence will ruin this project" is what I've heard from my old friends over and over. Can you imagine how that felt?
"Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us.
Between the two stands Resistance"
-- Steven Pressfield
On a frozen January evening I met a musician friend and I cried out in pain: "I don't want to be part of this f**kin' universe anymore. Why does it have to be so hard?! I want to offer the world an inspiring piece of work and it seems like the entire universe stands against me!"
In that moment, his few words literally shifted my entire way of looking at the world. He simply said: "You want to be a speaker and author to empower people to follow their dreams because deep down you believe it is possible. You have done it before so many times before."
I said yes. In his own language, my musician friend continued:
"Do you want to be a 'fake cover-band' and 'play the songs of others'? Do you want to speak from books, copy others or do you want to be authentic and real? Do you really want to live and sing your own songs with greatness and power?"
"I want to be authentic, of course," I replied without a clue of what he actually meant.
"Well," my friend continued, "If you want to be authentic, you now have the perfect opportunity. You have to go through this pain so that you will understand people when they will tell you how hard life can be sometimes. Unless you prove in your own experience what you want to teach others, you don't deserve to be up on any stage, make any movie, write any book or give any advice. Everything has risen against you so that you prove in your experience what you know in your heart to be true. If you give up and don't finish the project, you will be just another 'cover-band' that nobody cares about the next day. You will be an impostor."
Wow. I understood. I finally understood and I moved forward. I have decided to dismiss my own reason and have faith in my faith. I still had no funding, I was still broke. But I didn't want to give up on this movie because of money. Only one idea kept taking me forward: "How can you fail while making a movie about how to achieve success?" It was the joke of the universe being played on me. It took me another year or intense work but I finished the project.
This story is not about me. This story is about you. When you decide to grow and create a new and more fulfilled version of yourself, you will set in motion unseen, opposite forces that will rise against you. They will seem like a curse, they will look like hell but they are a blessing. They will create the perfect context to allow you to provide in actions, behaviors and experience what you know to be true about yourself in your mind and heart.
The more important a call or action is to the evolution of your soul, the more resistance you will encounter. The more your grow in your mind and heart, the bigger the wave you will be called to ride. The greatest surfers ride the biggest waves. Think about it:
- The knight stood up against the dragon.
- David stood up against Goliath.
- Gandhi stood up against the British government.
- Martin Luther Kind stood up against racism.
- Jesus stood up against Death.
When you decide in your mind and heart that you will grow, that you will make your dream a reality -- build that startup, write that book, release that album, accept that new job offer -- you will undoubtedly be called to stand up against resistance.
"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not bet for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it" -- Rabindranath Tagore
The road to your dream is guarded by the ugly trolls of resistance. When you make a commitment and walk boldly on this road to fulfillment, resistance will grow. The wave will rise against you. Your mind may shake, your behaviors may shake, but your soul will never shake. Positive thinking alone will just deny their existence and they can destroy you.
Do not search refuge from dangers but find the courage to face them. You are always bigger than your problems. Ride the big wave of your greatest dream. It's coming.
PS: Give a link of this article to your best friend. You will empower them to keep on.