If you happen to be creative or have discovered the great purpose for your life, you probably spend time wondering if your work will ever get noticed. It’s such a big issue, that I wrote my book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” to help people find their purpose and then make it known to the world. Now, a documentary film on the life of photographer Vivian Maier is an incredible story of a remarkably gifted woman who never achieved artistic success in her lifetime, but never gave up her work. As her website states:
Most people look at a resume incorrectly. Too many think it’s a document that tracks your life and career. But the truth is, a good resume is the ultimate calling card – it’s the movie trailer for your life. A resume’s task isn’t to get you the job, it’s to get you in the door so you can sell yourself. So now that you realize it’s purpose is to open doors, get yours out, and let’s fix it:
Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things.
The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we learn to overcome it, we’ll fail every time. In fact, in his recent book “The War of Art” Pressfield doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to how big an issue “Resistance” really is:
“How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to do? Resistance defeats us.
If tomorrow morning by some stoke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff.
Look at your own heart. Unless I’m crazy right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.
You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kroner, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.”
Over dramatized? Maybe. But the question remains? Isn’t it time to overcome the Resistance in your life?i
In a recent Hollywood Reporter issue, actor Terry Crews tells a story about being on the set of the movie Expendables: “When we were doing the first Expendables, Sylvester Stallone was looking at the playback, and he said, “Man, take your moment. Never ever let them take your moment. When the camera’s on you, you have the whole movie, you have the studio, you have the audience; the whole world is yours at that moment. So take it. Don’t
I’m sure you’re facing a long to-do list right now, and this week there are probably many things to be done in your life and the life of your organization. But today, I’m recommending something a bit different – do nothing. That’s right. No work, no action, no check offs. Well, in a way at least. By doing “nothing” here’s what I mean:
A Facebook follower sent me this photo of my book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” translated in Chinese from Taiwan. It’s always interesting to see how other cultures design covers for the same book. Take a look and let me know what you think:
When you speak before a group, preach a sermon, or make a presentation in the office, there’s one mistake people make over and over: too much information. They try to cover too many points, and as a result, the presentation simply bogs down in useless detail. One important principle in speaking or presenting is unity. As the title of one of my books suggests,
The statistics are in on how well we keep New Year’s Resolutions and it doesn’t look good. Forbes Magazine reports that while 40% of us make New Year’s resolutions, just 8% actually follow through on those goals. We rarely get to February before we’re reminded that every year we make new year’s resolutions, and every year we fail. We just can’t seem to