Inspiration, and the counterforce that comes with it

. 1 min read

Have you ever noticed that when you get a rush of inspiration, you very rarely actually get down to doing the things you're inspired to do? It's as if you fear that the inspiration was false and that trying the deed would prove it was never there. Or as if you fear that if you go with the inspiration, you realize you can't do it; you can't live up to the expectation the inspiration had for you.

So what's going on here? Is this Resistance again the way Steven Pressfield puts it? Or is it the fear of failure?

Maybe it's both. The way I see it, the need to avoid commitment is intrinsic in the psyche of man. The moment you get excited to do something, you also get its counterforce: the feeling, the voice that instructs you not to commit, not to try, not to bother, because it's safer to keep your options open.

Who knows; maybe if you defied the voice and actually tried and followed the inspiration, you'd find something meaningful to do. Something you'd like to do for the rest of your life.

But doing a singular thing for the rest of your life, devoting your existence to it, is not very beneficial in terms of survival. Our ancestors had to be able to adapt to circumstances and learn new skills in order to survive. Life in today's world is different - it's actually beneficial to you to niche your skills - but your subconsciousness, your psyche that has yet to catch up with the modern world, still thinks the old way.

Your subconscious will tell you not to go with the inspiration because it thinks you'll die if you do. It thinks devoting yourself to passion projects is meaningless and not worth the risk. It thinks you're dumb to do it. And it tries its hardest to make its case to you.

The question is: which will you listen? The inspiration - the gut feeling you cannot explain - or the voice in your psyche, still living in The Stone Age?