Sunday, February 2, 2014

I Have a Lot to Do


“No matter how you are feeling, get up every morning and prepare to let your light shine forth.”

Paolo Coehlo

“If you give your work life, your work will give you life. Vise-versa”

Maria Renteria

“There's nothing of any importance in life—except how well you do your work.”

Ayn RandAtlas Shrugged

I have a lot to do.  I got some extra time today, but I wasted some of it.  So now I’m going to write for a while.  I could also read, walk, take a nap, pay some bills or iron some clothes.  I could pray or clean my place.  Or I could write.  For now I choose to write.  Then I will do one of the other things I just mentioned.   All the professional writers I read about write for three to four hours a day.  I usually get in two inconsecutive hours.  So that’s why I’m writing now. 
I’m not sure if I’ll publish this blog.  If I do, I will be closer to my goal.  I still have a lot of work to do to reach 500.  I’m only at 418.  I think the important thing is just to write.  I’m so sorry that I wasted time this afternoon.   I wish I could be more self-disciplined.  Here’s something I realize.  When I take control of one area of my life, then I’m able to take control of other areas.  That’s a two-edged sword though.  When I lose control of one area of my life, I soon lose control of others. 
That’s why this is a constant battle. 
Constant.
I need to work harder.   I really do.
So I’m going to sit here and write and try to not let things interfere.  One area leads to another.  “Everything is everything.”
What does that phrase mean?  To me it means everything is connected.  We are all part of each other.  My actions affect your life and yours affect mine.  This causes me to be vigilant.  Are my actions the kind that I want affecting others?   Am I doing something good and positive in this world?  At this moment, yes, I am.  I’m writing.  This feels better than playing online games or browsing the Internet.  It feels better than complaining or on the phone about my problems.  It feels better than wasting time. 
It’s funny with as much work as I do to Get Started and Keep Going, I still lose sight of my Purpose.  For the last hour or so I did very little to move me towards my goals.  I’ve also been pretty negligent with exercise, my radio show, and reading.  It really is a battle every day.  I can’t lose sight of that.  Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose and sometimes both on the same day.  For example, I won when I spent time reading This Is It by Alan Watts, while my daughters were at softball practice.  I could have wasted that time playing a game.  But then later this afternoon, I wasted time doing nothing productive.
Is there a difference between wasting time and relaxing?   It’s not in the activity itself.  It’s how the activity makes me feel when I’m done.  Wasting time leaves me drained and depressed.  I feel worse afterwards.  Relaxing makes me feel better.  I remember once staying up late to watch a TV show and how frustrated I felt afterwards because I really needed to get up early.  The tension I caused myself cost me more sleep.  At other times I can watch TV quite contentedly (though not very often). 
There are often two voices in my head.  The first voice is tough, but loving and says, “You have work you could be doing.”
The other voice is calm and deceitful and says, “Relax.  Play a game.  Look at meaningless things and get involved in meaningless discussions.  Spend your day worrying or being angry or complaining.  Your work can wait.”
It’s true.  The work can wait, but not indefinitely.  I’ve lost opportunities before.  I don’t want to lose them again.  So yes, the work can wait, but since I don’t know for how long, it really can’t wait.  That’s why I’m writing.  That’s also why the Enemy fights me so hard and so consistently.  It never gives up.  I do, but it doesn’t.  In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield says,
Resistance is like the Alien or the Terminator or the shark in Jaws.  It cannot be reasoned with.  It understands nothing but power.  It is an engine of destruction programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work.  Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable.  Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack.
This is Resistance’s nature.  It’s all it knows.
           

That’s what I deal with every day.   This is what everyone who is trying to
improve his or her life deals with, every day and every moment: an Enemy from within that cannot be reasoned with and will not change or tire.  Even now while I write, it wants to beat me up with fear or distractions or hurts from the past or worries about the future, near or immediate. 
So I keep writing.  I don’t worry about the battles I lost today.  That will just give strength to the Enemy.  In the Allan Watts book I referred to earlier, Watts says,
Yet the unexpected psychological fact is that man cannot control himself unless he accepts himself.  In other words, before he can change his course of action, he must first be sincere, going with and not against his nature, even when the immediate trend of his nature is toward evil, toward a fall.


I don’t think that Watts is saying that we should give in to our worst impulses, but that we should acknowledge them, so that we can move past them.  Sometimes resisting Resistance makes it stronger. 
So this blog was a victory.  Now I’m going to work on other things that are connected with my goals.  I’m going to Get Started and Keep Going…because I have a lot to do.