I Don’t Have Time To Write This Blog Post

I am sitting here at midnight having a conversation with myself about this blog post. I’m telling myself, “You don’t have time for this post”. There are two things about that thought that strike me:

1. I have the time. It takes about an hour to put out a post that’s readable if not a work of art.

If I don’t have time to write this article, how have I made it to Level 190 in Candy Crush in the last three months? How do I maintain six games of Words With Friends most of the time?

If I don’t have time to write this article, how did I manage to watch at least four movies this weekend, including Ender’s Game in IMAX?

The truth of it is that I have the same amount of time as anybody else, “a lifetime”, to borrow from Neil Gaiman.

The thing I lack is focus and focused time. Speaking of focus, that brings me to the second point.

2. Hey! That’s ‘The Resistance’ talking. It’s also known as that little red devil guy sitting on your shoulder in the old Tom & Jerry cartoons telling Tom or Jerry to do something they know they really shouldn’t do.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say ‘The Resistance’, go read Steven Pressfield’s excellent book on creativity and beating ‘The Resistance’, The War of Art. The TL;DR version of the book is that ‘The Resistance’ will do anything to keep you from listening to your ‘Muse’. It will do anything to keep you unfocused on what needs doing.

‘The Resistance’ will help you find any excuse to not do anything that brings about a positive change in your life or work that needs doing. ‘The Resistance’ as presented by Steven Pressfield reminds me of a gospel song by The Kingsmen (it’s fun to watch them stumble on a song they played a gajillion times in the 1980s ).

The chief difference between The Devil and ‘The Resistance’ is that ‘The Resistance’ is an internal force that encourages procrastination and enticements to draw us away from ‘The Work’, whether it’s creative work, exercise, or just work.

One, if you’re not familiar with it, buy and read The War of Art ( affiliate link that benefits my kids’ school) and two stop using the words ‘I don’t have time’. It’s better to say ‘I have other priorities’. and stop lying to yourself.

Your True Self

Damon Lindelof posited in this piece that Bruce Wayne was always Batman even before his parents died and that Walter White was always Heisenberg before he found out he had cancer. These characters in their real identities encountered triggers that allowed their true selves come out.

As Lindelof puts it:

“The conventional thinking is that Bruce Wayne became Batman on the day that his parents were murdered. This is his origin story. We all know it.  We all accept it. We all love it. Because it makes sense. Your parents are gunned down in front of you, so of course you vow an unending vendetta against crime and then dress up like a winged mammal to exact it.”

and

“We know all this because Walt tells us so. The ticking time bomb that is the cancer becomes his rationale for everything that comes next; the lying, the lawbreaking, the child-poisoning.”

The interesting thing is Walter’s cancer went away and yet he was still Heisenberg. If Bruce’s parents turned out to still be alive, he would still be Batman. Even if they stopped putting on their “costumes”, they’d still be those men. They might have to hide them again. They’d still be on the inside fighting to get out. Then again, I’m not sure either genie would fit back in their bottle.

I think he is onto something. I think we all have someone else inside of us. Some of use multiple someones. We keep those other selves locked away for whatever reason. Maybe we are scared society will laugh at us. Or maybe for some, that someone isn’t socially acceptable. Continue reading “Your True Self”