Persistence is the antidote to resistance

When we were young, we used to play on this swing in our house. Now, this is not your average one-person swing. In India, people used to have these massive, heavy wooden swings where 4 or 5 people can sit on, at a time and swing. You can imagine the manpower required to push this swing and we were only kids. The good old days when children used to play with other children from the neighbourhood and parents did not need to worry. It was usually my cousins, my younger sister and I and three or four others from the neighbourhood. We used to take turns to go on this swing. Since my sister was much younger and might get hurt, we preferred not to include her.

Since the swing was huge, one or two of us (usually the boys) took turns to push the swing while a few others were seated on it. Sometimes, the two swing-pushers used to hop on the swing after it gained momentum. Of course, we had to be careful while we jumped on the swing and this was exactly why we preferred not to include my sister. But my sister was so persistent. She never cared about the resistance she got from us. Sometimes, she used to get on the swing and never listened to our pleas to get off.

‘It’s gonna go so high and you will fall off. So, get off the swing’. ‘Nope’, she said and stayed put.

There has been at least one incident followed by a visit to the doctor to get sutures. While the doctor was stitching my sister’s chin (forehead another time), apparently, she asked him to hurry up because she wanted to come back and play with us – on the swing.

As children, we are so persistent. Especially when it comes to playing or asking for sweet treats or any other forbidden food. What happens to us as adults?

We set a goal, work on it for a few days or weeks and then quit. If we want to try a different path in life, we start a course and quit too soon because it was either boring or too hard.

Do you remember how many times you had to ask your parent(s) for a lolly? You never gave up until you got it because you knew if you asked that many times, you will get it (unless you had a strict parent like me – lol).

That is how the Universe works too. If we ask it for something that we truly want, that many times and keep putting one step in front of the other, we will get it.

Steven Pressfield in his book ‘War of Art’ writes Resistance is what keeps us from sitting down and doing our best work. Furthermore, he says “Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

But resistance hates it when we turn pro. And how do we turn pro? We turn up day after day, no matter what and keep doing our work till we master the technique. We do not take failure (or success) personally and invest in the act wholeheartedly. When we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably the Universe comes to our aid and things start to manifest magically.

So, believe in whatever is close to your heart, become a professional and let your persistence banish resistance and its efforts to thwart your success.