Against resistance or the path of least resistance?

. 2 min read

Steven Pressfield tells us that a handy way to find out our true calling is to look for different paths and see which we feel least like doing. That's because if we truly want something, more than anything, and we want it really badly, resistance will do anything to stop us from getting it - even if it means infiltrating your reasonable brain and telling you you actually don't want it. In Pressfield's ideology, resistance points the way to our life's work, and we should go there and fight resistance, even if the battle was a non-stopping one.

But what if Pressfield has it backwards? What if the secret to a meaningful life isn't to fight the current, but to go with it?

I reckon most if not all people would rather spend their days doing something they enjoy doing - something they jump out of bed in excitement in the morning to do - instead of fighting the urge to stay in bed and watch The Simpsons and eat ice cream all day. Because let's face it - if you hate your job, you don't wake up with joy. But then again, how can you know that that hated job won't turn into a meaningful one with practice?

Then there's the phenomenon which we talked about yesterday - that being excited and inspired to do a project rarely leads to practical action because of the counterforce that comes with the inspiration. Even if you woke up excited - jumped out of bed even - you'd savor the feeling of being inspired, afraid to use it.

So here's what I suggest:

Combine the best of both.

You can use both the resistance-showing-the-way method by Pressfield and the path of least resistance method together to create a life that is full of meaningful work and you wake up excited. Here's how it works.

Choose two big life projects - each so big and close to your heart that resistance is bound to stand there and try to stop you. The catch is that resistance, infamously, can only block one project at a time! So when you wake up in the morning, listen to your gut to see which project resistance is blocking that day, and choose to spend the day on the other project. That way you'll devote your life to a worthy cause (or two) and get to excitedly choose the path of least resistance every day.

How cool is that?