At the core, what are people actually struggling with? Ignorance and Resistance. That is, people struggle by not knowing something or by only partially knowing something and then there is the struggle of not being able to do/act on what they know.
It’s actually one thing, but it seems to be two things. And that one thing is ignorance (or lack of awareness). We’ve already looked into that in many of my blogs.
Whether you’re in partial awareness or in complete darkness, there exists a struggle. So, it’s awareness that can set us free from everything. Ignorance is the cause of all suffering (From Blog 95). This much, I think I’ve already established through my blogs.
And then there is Resistance. Even though resistance is also a by-product of ignorance, you cannot always wait for awareness to get you out of resistance.
This blog for example was derived from my sheer intent to write, not out of some eureka-type awareness that dawned upon me a few moments ago. Of course, I’ve written many blogs using those eureka kinds of moments too. But my point here is, sometimes you got to take action before awareness. Sure there is a risk involved. The action you take may lead to its fullest fruition or into a devastating disaster.
So, resistance. How to beat it?
Before I continue any further, I’ll have to mention that the credit for this blog goes to my sister. When I was wondering what to write for this week’s blog and asked my sister: “What do you think? What should I write about for this week’s blog? What can people learn from me?” Her first reply whether she meant it or not was – “You’ve already written all of it”. “That’s disappointing,” I said. But then she said one word – “Consistency”. This blog is not exactly just about consistency, but this has everything that underlies it. Ok, let me continue the blog now.
Of course, essentially through this blog, it is the awareness that again helps us beat resistance. So let me tell you 8 simple facts that make action an easier choice.
- Seek Awareness. I know I told you that sometimes we cannot wait for awareness to take action. But if haven’t given any time to reflect, knowing the core reason for resistance can super-jolt you into action. And Awareness here means both what you must know of the world and that of within. So, Be a Bug.
- Action is always better than inaction. There will be growth with any deliberate action. Any deliberate action will take you somewhere. That’s why I wrote this a few years ago – Be a “+” or “-” but not a zero. (Blog 90: 6 Super Decision Making Tools). Stagnation is worse than death.
- Make Action Easy. Like the 2-minute rule, etc which you might have heard, make your own version of it. For example, if you’re trying to make a huge project, split it into mini, micro, then nano parts. Then start working on that smallest unit. By this, you’ll be rolling the still boulder. And once it starts rolling, you can take more and big parts of the tasks.
- Make Resistance Hard. Resistance can be of various types. Sometimes it can be as simple as compulsive overwatching TV or overeating, or sometimes even in the form of a disease, at the worst case. Think of ways you can inhibit yourself from taking action. That is all that resistance can do to you. Now think of all the things you can do to prevent all that. Ex: Hiding or even uninstalling certain apps that you tend to use compulsively.
- Consistency is the Holy Grail. As we discussed in Blog 53: The Best Birthday Gift to Yourself!, the magical power of compound effect can work for you or against you. You have the choice. Consistency is the holy grail of action. Because it is through consistency that any action becomes a habit. Moreover, treat it that way. If you believe in God, this should become your God. If you do not believe in God, this should be your God. And when we say consistency, we’ve moved to “Habits”. And that connects us to the discussion of Keystone habits, habit stacking, etc. How to create a habit, stick to it, etc, can be learned through great books like Atomic Habits and The Power of Habits. I recommend you listen to both of these audiobooks.
- Awareness—–> Action <—with consistency—> Habit: Power of Compound Effect
- Ignorance—–> Resistance <——> Inaction —with consistency—> Habit.
- Commit in Public. Actually, nobody cares if you fail your public commitment, but that provides enough drive within us to stick to the habit. Every work you share with the world acts as a habit contract.
- Motivation. In motivation again, we need to consider whether it is an Extrinsic motivator (like money, fame, etc) or an Intrinsic motivator (sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, etc) that one is after. And of course, if there is a strong INTENT, there’s no need to speak of motivation.
- What kind of person do you want to be? Do you want to be the man/woman who kept thinking, or do you want to be the man/woman of action? If you ask this simple question, it is quite simple, isn’t it? Because this is not a yes or no question. Because you’ve got no choice here, objectively speaking. Within, we all know that we need action. Even if we are seeing this spiritually, it is due to the unexhausted baggage of actions (Karma) that we have been born in the first place. So the more and faster you can take on the accumulated actions, the sooner can you be free of all action.
And sometimes, as I wrote in Blog 37, just letting go can help to get back on “the track of action”. But that’s only for one who was on that track before in the first place. And also, it is not a general remedy for all situations and kinds of resistance. But these 8 simple facts are a general remedy for all actions involving any kind of resistance. Of course, unless it is resistance you are experiencing because you truly don’t want to do that particular action. Then probably, it’s time to reflect and see what action you think you need to do.
I hope through this blog, I’ve given you enough to work on and take action immediately on what you’ve been resisting and that which you know should be doing.
Sanath Kumar Naibhi