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Fight Resistance with sleep

The latest Tim Ferriss podcast features guest Seth Godin. I've been a consumer of Seth's work since reading "Purple  Cow" about five years ago, and I was excited to hear him on Tim's show.

During the podcast Seth recommended a book I'd never heard of, "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. Seth's an avid reader, so when he said this is a book everyone should read (especially if you are an aspiring creator), I went straight to the kindle library and purchased.

The "war" the book describes is the daily war a creator faces. Pressfield calls it Resistance. The Resistance to create. You may call it procrastination, but it's much more than that. This line captures it nicely:

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

Resistance is a complex multi-layered act/state/thing. It's something we constantly experience and it wont go away. Recognizing it's existence is one step in overcoming it. Another (I believe critical) step is having the energy to overcome  it.

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.

We face Resistance everyday. Say you'd like to do X. X can be creating an app, a painting, writing screenplay, learning to code, etc. Let's assume it's been at least a month since you've conceived the idea and have started working on it on and off. There are nights you come home and you know you should work on it, but you don't. And there are night you come home and you know you should work on it, and you do. Why success in one evening but not another?

Many factors come into play, but I believe a critical one is your energy level. And your energy level will directly influence how much will you have to battle Resistance. I've found the days I get 7+ hours of sleep, are the days I have the greatest chance to overcome Resistance. Anything else I'm riding on low levels of energy, and therefore low will power to overcome Resistance.

Pressfield writes:

Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.

It's a good point, but I believe Resistance has a lot of strength. That's why it keeps coming back. And it's strength overpowers us if we do not have the energy to  fight back. We can  learn to not fear it, but we are still susceptible to it.

Sleep in order to have the energy to fight Resistance is not a magic pill. But you put yourself at a huge disadvantage if you don't do it. Resistance is quite potent already, you need every advantage to overcome  it.