There is a shadowy force in our life that is always working against us. A power that wages war against our dreams. Trying to slow us down and grind our efforts into dust. Hoping to lure us into taking the easy road, into resigning ourselves to a life of quiet reservation. A comfortable life, where we stir up no more trouble and abandon our foolish desires for things that hang out of reach.
We must battle these forces. We must rise up against them, because otherwise, nothing ever happens. It’s as though life demands to know how serious we are. How focused. How desperate How truly deserving.
Life demands to know what cost we are willing to bear.
The spoils of war go to the last woman standing.
Steven Pressfield calls it the resistance.
Seth Godin calls it the Lizard brain.
A carry over from our evolutionary human history, which means well and aims to keep us safe. Safe from things we no longer need to be protected from. Safe and hidden from opportunities and great personal success.
One of the strategies that this mysterious force (this Lizard brain) employs against us, is very subtle.
It uses the multiplicity of dreams to slow down and destroy our work.
It’s been over a year since I made the commitment to write every day, in the hopes of publishing Quintessential Quotables, along with Diggin’ Ditches, sometime in 2018.
Recently though, my mind has been flooded with passionate desires to write fiction. To abandon what I have been doing and take a new direction toward writing some great detective stories.
I have always been in love with Sherlock Holmes, especially the BBC version with Jeremy Brett, as the great detective.
I have been thinking and dreaming about how great it would feel to create a new memorable series of quintessential characters. To immerse myself in a fictitious world responding to my every whim and desire. To abandon this madness of non-fiction. To breathe life into something else. Something new. To give birth to a better dream.
How glorious that would feel? How great it would be?
But that is exactly the danger.
This is exactly how I’ve managed to muck things up in the past, by abandoning every endeavour I have ever attempted.
I never finished anything.
Like a young frog, at the precipice of spring time, I kept on jumping from one shiny lily pad to another. Hoping that happiness and success, was only one hop away. That the fulfilment of my dreams was dependent on landing on the right one.
The truth is that we have nothing without finishing what we start.
We need to resist the temptation to begin something new, before we have a chance to finish what seems old.
Only by being done. By being finished. By reaching the end, can we take the next step and know if we made something worthwhile. If our dream will come true. If we are on edge of greatness or defeat.
But without the end, without persistence, we can be falsely seduced to a perpetual life of distraction.
Without honouring our original commitment, we will be left with nothing but frustration and questions of what went wrong.
Regardless of our effort, we need to produce a result. We owe it to ourselves to discover if we’ve made something good, or if it’s a bit funky, and we need to make something else.
Shiny bright lily pads are seductively distracting.
None of them have intrinsic magical powers.
Running from here to there seems like progress, but it’s a trap.
The best way through, is just to stay where you are, and keep doing what you’ve been doing.
I know it doesn’t sound particularly exciting and that’s because it isn’t.
Just gold old fashioned, boring, hidden work.
That’s what you need to embrace the most.
Don’t get seduced by anything else.
Don’t get tired hoping from one lily dream to the next.
Get tired finishing something that you started.