I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month – writing 50,000 words between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 as part of National Novel Writing Month. Last year I started NaNo, but allowed distractions and schedules and various things to pull me away. Stamp my NaNoWriMo 2008 experience with a big FAIL stamp.
Thousands of people want to write a book. Thousands more are baffled by the very idea of churning out a whole novel. And doing it in 30 days seems insane. But every year, thousands of people complete manuscripts, with or without the NaNoWriMo challenge to stir up their competitive run-with-the-horses motivation. Nora Roberts creates, on average, five novels a year. Yep, you read that right: FIVE.
Whether you want to write a novel or lose fifteen pounds, learn to play an instrument or remodel your kitchen, there’s one little word that makes the difference between failing or flying: progress.
Like sheep, we seem to be programmed to move forward, to progress. Sometimes we simply “go with the flow” and run into disaster with the rest of the crowd. Sometimes we cautiously plan and plot our course, only to find ourselves upside down in a ditch or a box of doughnuts halfway to our goal. And while we generally like the end result of steady, consistent progress (think indoor plumbing vs. outhouses, or the interstate highway system vs. the Oregon trail), we hate what we encounter along the way: RESISTANCE.
The resistance we’re most familiar with is the kind we can point fingers at. External opposition. Circumstances beyond our control. This is the kind of resistance we can blame for our lack of progress, our failure to reach the intended destination. But resistance takes some other forms that aren’t so obvious. These types of resistance are probably more damaging, more deadly, and more responsible for failure than any external situation or circumstance.
For centuries human beings have been rising up out of the ashes of destruction, overcoming the worst kinds of situations, and succeeding against all odds. We are designed to overcome and conquer as surely as the Manning brothers were designed to play football. And yet, so often we fail to accomplish the deepest desires of our hearts. Why?
Are we our own worst enemies? Yes, if we don’t recognize the resistance within for what it is and annihilate it. If we continue to point fingers and cast blame when in reality that blame should boomerang right back to smack us upside the head, then yes, we have become our own worst enemy.
All week I’ll be posting about different kinds of resistance we encounter on the way to reaching our goals, because if we can overcome the resistance, we can conquer the things that hold us back. Check back. You just might discover you’ve been aiding and abetting the very thing hindering you from seeing your dreams come true.
Note: Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to the photo’s source. Thank you to the photographers who’ve shared their talents via morguefile.com and flickr.com