Do you know the enemy?
I do. The enemy that inhibits peak performance, makes you lazy and keeps you unmotivated, cajoles you into seeking comfort.
It distracts you from your goals and dulls your mind. The enemy sells you on an “easy” lifestyle and lulls you into a false sense of security.
It conspires to sabotage every move toward a healthier diet or consistent workout program. It will aim to destroy any action or activity that moves you towards bettering yourself, be it education, a new job venture, a move towards a more spiritual life, or writing the next great novel.
Ultimately, it weakens your spirit.
What is The Enemy?
The enemy comes in many forms and assumes many guises. It may tell you that it’s alright to sit down on the sofa and watch Lifetime Television with your wife after dinner; you can get to that workout later. It may convince you that just one brownie bite is okay, after all, they’re just “bites”. You may feel tired from a busy day at the office, and rightly so – the enemy will whisper in your ear that you can begin your fitness regimen tomorrow and that will be good enough. What exactly is this enemy who kills our motivation and procrastinates our calling (sometimes indefinitely)? Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy as “Resistance” in his excellent book, The War of Art.
“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole… If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
Sometimes the most insidious form the enemy can take is the form of knowledge. We fall into the trap of, I know what I need to do, I just need to do it. Knowledge comforts us. It allows us to rationalize that since we are in possession of it, we can carry out the action at any time. We don’t need to do it now. Tomorrow is fine. Next week is OK to start. So, why worry? One of my favorite quotes on this subject is:
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
How Do I Defeat The Enemy?
In his book, Awakening Spirits, famed wilderness survival guru, Tom Brown Jr., gives the enemy a different name, calling it the “Demon of Distraction”. No matter what you call it, if you call it anything at all, it’s the very same impersonal, unrelenting force pushing us away from our calling, deferring our goals to a “better time”, or for when “conditions are just right”.
Here’s a hint – conditions are never perfect.
There is no better time than right now.
How do you defeat this omnipresent enemy? By doing your work. By starting right now. Don’t delay. Don’t defer. Begin. Do the work. Skip McDonald’s on the way home from work and prepare a healthy meal. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of excuses. Be firm. Be strong. Get it done. Be resolute and committed to your goals.