During the 1984 Olympics, I watched the Olympic High Jumper Dwight Stones win a medal for the United States; After viewing this I wanted to be a high jumper for a brief moment. If you want to be a high jumper, you need to practice high jumping, so I dragged a mattress into our back yard, took a long stick and some bricks, and put together my high jump pit.
I started high jumping. I did it for a while and then got tired of it. I never went on to be a high-jumper, nor did I participate in Track and Field. It was just something I tried, attempted, and moved on. As I think back to that time, I believe something was missing. What was missing was The Resistance. Who knows when the Resistance appears or what form it takes, but back then, when I was young, I didn’t seem to consider it’s existence at all.
The Resistance to some can be a friend; to others, it’s a foe. It depends on your background of interpretation and the story you choose to tell about it. This week I pondered the Resistance and its forms.
I have concluded that the Resistance arrives in places where I don’t have solid habits or relax and take some time off. Here is what I mean. I have been writing most of the year in various workshops and accountability groups. Writing is a solid habit, and when I sit down to write now, I just sit down and write. It took time to get to this point, recall many writing classes, and start and stop, and my mind was in a constant state of comparisons.
When I am at work, I simply don’t care anymore. I do believe that it has to do with daily practice building a habit. I have been an educator for over 20 years; at the beginning of my career, I cared a lot about what people thought. I beat myself up when things went wrong, and I worked long hours trying to be perfect. Yet, that story is gone, I am comfortable with my output in my profession, and I simply think it is because I do it daily.
The Resistance was hiding in my podcast.
This year I am working on my novel, a master’s degree, my job, homeschooling my son, and navigating COVID in America. I recorded my last podcast in April. Over the summer, I have written several episodes, but I haven’t recorded them.
I don’t beat myself up over it. I have a lot of things going on. This is a win, simply to be content of the reality of life and not giving into setting unrealistic expectations.
When I began to work on preparing to record new episodes there it was, and this is what it was saying- “ You are going to offend people,” “ You are making a mistake,” “ You aren’t doing it the right way.” You don’t have permission or authority to speak on the topics you are interested in. Boom, there it is.
That is the loop. My resistance loop typically goes in that direction. I just have to hop off the loop.
The way I beat Resistance is this. Fake it to you make it. I don’t overreact. I have come to make the connections between my habits and the Resistance. I just need to get back in the groove of recording weekly, and the Resistance will simply fade to the background.
The lesson I took away from my youth was this, there was a time when the metrics didn’t matter. I enjoyed trying new things without having to have high-stakes or a quest for status. This is where I am trying to get to now.
I am learning to be content with getting to do the work I enjoy doing, being a content creator. I have concluded that I love to get confused with getting paid to do the work I love to get paid to do the work I love.
I heard Zig Ziglar say- Regardless of who signs your paycheck, you are self-employed. This is how I am moving from Resistance to contentment.
Check out the latest edition of The Steven Thompson Experience this month; it’s all about Van Halen!