Playing the Game

“It’s one thing study war and another to live the warrior’s life.” Telamon of Arcadia, quoted in The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

This post isn’t about war, per se. But it is about the battle that lies within me, and within all of us.

It’s a war to create, to move forward, to supply, to write, to decide, to put it on paper and act.

Personally, it’s always been easy for me to study how to become a writer, to study how to become a stronger person of faith and character, to study how to become a better leader. In fact, I dedicated my 20s to learning and studying as much as I was able.

Now, I’ve found it’s been much more difficult to turn the corner in my 30s and actually live what I’ve studied. It’s not that I haven’t acted on writing, grown in my faith and character and leadership. I have. I’ve put things in motion and acted on what I’ve studied.

But I’m not living the “warrior’s life.” I find myself losing to the Resistance (a term used by Pressfield in The War of Art). I give in, I accept, and I lose frequently to the Resistance. It’s the voice inside of me that says, It’s not worth it. You can’t do it. Keep studying. You’re not good enough yet. There are better things to do. What if you make the wrong decision? You’re an amateur. 

And on and on the Resistance screams. It keeps me from living the warrior’s life.

I know I will continue to battle the Resistance the rest of my life, but I want to study less and live more. It’s time to start winning this battle and playing – not just studying – the game.

If you find yourself stuck, if you find yourself with a decision, an act, a dream stuck inside of you, the best thing you can do is to get in the game and move forward. Make that decision. Put the dream in motion. Stop studying and start playing. Today. Right now.