A reason to quit…

“If you’re looking for a reason to quit, you can find one. No problem.”

That’s another quote from Treme’. I have enjoyed that series on HBO as I have watched almost all 4 seasons now. There is one episode left and I am going to be sad to see it end. It’s the story of lots of folks as they return to New Orleans after Katrina. I learned things about the culture of New Orleans and enjoyed the music scene they portrayed. I suspect a real resident of New Orleans would not agree with everything told but I enjoyed it and the reading I did outside the show seems to confirm a lot of it.

The opening quote reminded me of a chapter in the book Switch about having more words in English for negative emotions than for positive emotions. It was startling to realize we have almost twice as many words to describe a negative emotion. 2:1. What does that say about ourselves?

So, if we’re looking for a reason to quit, it’s easy to find. We are naturally wired that way and we look for distractions so that we don’t have to do what we know we ought to do. One of my favorite books is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He talks about resistance as a force in the universe that opposes us as we strive to move from our current level to a higher one. A higher one physically, spiritually, emotionally, professionally and any other …ly that you can think of.

Resistance is an external force we all face in our day to day lives. We need to learn that this is a force that helps us identify the thing we need to do the most. In sales this shows up as an 800 pound phone. For a runner it might be the shoes that weigh 50 pounds each or for the programmer or engineer its the mouse that feels superglued down and we have to push it around the desk to get our work done.

Resistance identifies where we need to be.focused in a positive way to make progress.

For a writer it can be the act of sitting down to write. To allow yourself to stare at a blinking cursor and a blank screen for a while. To stare until an idea comes to you and to begin to develop that thought into a sentence and that sentence into a story. One thing I have noticed in my own writing is some things are easier than others. Tuesday Night Tunes are almost magical for me but the Thursday Market Update can be a lot harder.

I also find it gets easier with practice. Practice, not in the ‘do this to get better’ but in the ‘do this because it needs to be done’ and if you do it, you’ll get better. Sort of like shooting free throws in basketball. Boring but necessary. Do it until you can’t see yourself NOT doing it. Make a habit and that will make it easier.

To that point, I am going to focus on 500 words a day again to see what happens.

Today is day 1 and this is the Monday Muse. Resistance is my friend.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson