The War of Art Book

Sitting on My Back Pockets

Most of us are familiar with Yoda’s quote, “Try not.  Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”

Do.  Or do not.

How easily we fall into the mindset of trying.  “I’ll try my best to . . .”  Time passes and so does the goal.  We alter direction, trying something else.

Oh, the excuses we offer.  Plenty of them. 

“I was never good at typing.”
"I'm not very creative." 
“I never have enough time to sit down and write.”
“Tomorrow, I’ll try again.  Tonight, my favorite show is on TV.”

I could list pages of excuses but none of them justify not doing what should be done.  For me — and perhaps for others — the real reason nothing is ever accomplished in line with my vision is that, metaphorically, I spend too much time pressing the back pockets of my pants.

To accomplish anything requires action.  It requires pushing back when life steps in front of a goal.  It requires the willingness to get up after a stumble, to never, ever accept defeat.

Steven Pressfield wrote a book that everyone should read.  It tilts toward writing and writers, but the concepts could apply toward any endeavor in life.  His book, The War of Art, is an easy read, but it carries strong messages.

He claims resistance is one of the primary downfalls of humankind.  Those that overcome the pushback succeed.  Those that surrender to it live a life of empty dreams. 

I’m constantly talking to myself – in a good way. 

A summer morning wafts a cool breeze through my office window, luring me outside – just for a bit – to go for a bike ride, for a walk, to work in the garden.  The door to my detached workshop begs me to open it and work with my hands, building just one more thing out of wood.

These are passions of mine.  But they are not the path to my life vision.  “Stop sitting on your back pockets,” I tell myself.  “They don’t need pressing.  Put your fingers to the keyboard and write.  Write anything.  Just . . . write.”

We all need to be less passive and more active.  The truth is, if we truly wish to achieve something – anything at all – we can.  But it demands that we stop pressing our back pockets and continue taking the daily steps to make that vision happen.

Do or do not.  That’s what we all must decide.  I’ve made my choice.  Your choice is up to you.

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