Why We Struggle with Success
First of all, there is a misperception that success happens quickly or all at once. That is false. We just notice the fruits of someone's success all at once. Success is achieved slowly and over a lengthy period of time. No one notices the person working with their head down, or staying up late at night, or working on the weekend. In fact, most people who do notice them think they are strange and different.
Well, success is different. Only about 3% of the population achieve success. I'm not talking about financial success, but again only 3% achieve that also. I'm talking about true success. Living life the way you want to live life. Achieving the ideal life for you and your family. That picture is different for everybody. Some want the gadgets, toys, and playthings that come with success. Some want a happy home and family life. Some want to be the best mother, father, wife, husband, or partner they can be.
For others, success is not having to answer to anybody or live under someone else's agenda. Others find success in being an integral part of a well oiled business or endeavor. Whatever you decide is the life you want, success is having put your mind, body, and spirit into it until it happens and keeps happening for you.
Most people want a healthy, lean, fit body. Most don't have one. It is difficult to be totally successful if one's body is failing or giving out on them. When we are sick or in pain, it is nearly impossible to focus on the other important matters in our lives.
Why do we tend to put our health on the back burner until something happens and then 100% of our focus is on getting better? A health problem can stop us in our tracks and be one of the few things that can slow, stop, or crush our journey toward that successful life.
Taking time to be healthy will allow us to chase the other dreams and goals we want for ourselves and our family. Is it worthy of the time and effort? Yes. Any goal or dream we wish to accomplish is worthy of our time and effort. For most, 97%, the day to day problems, worries, issues, and crap, get in the way of the focus on our goals, dreams, and healthy long life.
Getting back to why we struggle with Success. It's not that we don't want to be successful. Everyone wants to be successful, feel that feeling of achievement, and believe that we can have a bit of greatness. Us humans were built this way. Even criminals want to be successful and achieve status in their field, however misguided that is. What then is keeping us from moving forward toward our own greatness?
Every single one of us struggle daily with what is called "Resistance". Have you ever had a good idea and as soon as you begin to think about it or implement it, all kinds of stuff starts to happen in life that must be tended to. The boss gave you extra duties and hours, the dog got sick, the AC went out, a plumbing leak occurred, an ankle got sprained. Of course this has happened to everyone. We think it's some force in the world to stop only us.
Well, it is a force in the world and it's there to stop all of us. "Resistance" is the force that will take us off course on the way to our goals and dreams. It was coined by Stephen Pressfield in his Book, "The War of Art". My discussion is taken from several of his books. This force is designed to keep us where we are. It's there to prove to us that we do not have what it takes to succeed. It's there to make us feel unworthy of action and success. It's there to make us afraid to succeed.
"Resistance" is evil and cares not for our growth and accomplishment. It wants us to stay where we are and tells us "how dare you dream so big". By the time we are moving through our twenties and thirties most of us have given in to "Resistance". We have begun to settle for a mediocre life. We are now just part of the crowd. Ninety-seven percent fall into the clutches of "Resistance" and never get free.
"Resistance" is subtle. It is that thing that makes us check our email one more time when we are supposed to be working on our project. It's that thing that says, "before I start work, I'll go to the bathroom one more time, clean off my desk, arrange my email files, and just check my social media and comment one more time". It's subtle but shows up all around us. It can take the form of distraction, procrastination, indifference, and lethargy. Over time it can push us into depression and self criticism.
"Resistance" is the main reason great writers and musicians never get read or listened to. It's the reason people drop out of school, don't date, never marry, take jobs they don't like, live as only a shadow of what they are capable of doing. We are all born to be great in some capacity. Every child we know has so much potential. The system is the dwelling place for "Resistance" and by the time our child is in High School, many of their great dreams and plans have been stolen by some good intentioned parent, teacher, bully, or online post.
The system is designed for mediocrity and complacency. "How Dare You Dream So Big?", the system tells us. Over time, we give into the system and become like sheep following the shepherd. It's time we followed our mind, our hearts, and our dreams. That dream you had from the past. That first glimpse of your greatness that may have been stifled. That vision for the best body and health, the best job or career, the best compensation and reward, the best relationships and family life. Think back to what you saw as success before "Resistance" attacked. If that's what you really want, it's waiting for you.
So, how do we beat "Resistance"? It can be beat though it never really goes away. The way to beat it is to take action on our goal. Take action on what we want to accomplish. Once we take action, "Resistance" will double its effort to get in our way. Become aware of when "Resistance" is happening and move in the opposite direction. Over time you will become more and more aware of "Resistance" when it shows up and be able to continue taking action in the direction you want to go. If you're a writer, you must write. It doesn't matter if it's any good, just keep writing. Same goes for musicians, accountants, doctors, salesmen, mothers, fathers, bankers, and for all of us.
When you really know what you want, keep taking action, even in the face of "Resistance". Even when I'm too tired, I'm too short, I'm not old enough, I'm not young enough, I don't have any money, What will others think?, what if I fail?, what if I succeed?, what if I change?, and on and on and on. Just keep moving forward with the appropriate action and advance daily toward your goal and eventually your dream. It's out there waiting for you. It was implanted in you before you were born.
That thing that is deep within you, that you know is there. That dream that we've buried and hidden for too long now. That desire to become something that will allow you to say "I've done my best" and have given it to the world. It's that achievement that will allow you and others to say on your last day on earth, "That was a life well spent".
As we approach the end of a year that was the mother of all "Resistance", let's look forward. This pandemic will improve and eventually be managed or beaten. We must get back to what makes us who we are. What makes us get up every morning, and what makes us strive to be the best we can be. Today actually does start a new page in the chapters and book of our life. Write on the page what you really want to do, have, and be and take action today in that direction. Full speed ahead, "Resistance" be damned!