Douglas Adams: "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy"A client project I’ve been working on lately has finally come to an end, so I have plenty of time to dedicate to my own projects – if I could just get started.

There’s always something else to do which appears more important, or more urgent. A friend said, recently, she feels she has to get the little chores out of the way first, before she can focus on what she wants to do. The trouble is, by the time all the chores are done, the whole day has gone!!

It’s important to recognise that there is nothing more important, nothing more urgent than doing what brings you joy.

If you’re familiar with “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“, you will recognise the title of this post as the phrase uttered by the guard, as the Vogon Captain prepares to read his poetry to the captive Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent.

It might be worth writing it down on a large sheet of paper, and hanging it above your desk, as a reminder.

Do you ever plan to do something you enjoy…

and yet when the day arrives, you don’t get around to doing it for some reason?

The closer you get to doing the thing(s) you love, the more likely you are to encounter resistance, both from other people and from yourself. Resistance from others is an expression of fear on their part, because they don’t want to see you fail, get hurt, or – in some cases – succeed.

Your own resistance can be less easy to spot, taking the form of avoidance, distraction, self-doubt or even lethargy. Have you ever used any of the following as reasons for not doing something?

  • “I’d really like to write / paint / compose / scuba dive / take photographs / …, but I’m too tired / don’t have the time / don’t feel like it right now / …
  • “I’d love to make a living from writing / painting / composing / scuba diving / photography / …, but I don’t think I’m good enough.”
  • “I’d love to be a writer / painter / composer / scuba diver / photographer / …, but if I was really serious about doing it, I’d have started by now, wouldn’t I?”

I used to think I was being lazy when I didn’t feel like doing something I had planned to do. Now I realise it’s a form of resistance to doing what I love. I’ve also realised that the best way to overcome my resistance is to remind myself why I want to what I want to do, and just get on with it.

You may have been led to believe that doing something you enjoy is a waste of time. Often there’s an inner battle between your rational and creative halves, the creative side wanting to burst out and play, while your rational half tries to keep you in check, always sensible.

I recently realised that both sides are attempting to get you to the same place through different means. So if you encounter resistance, it’s worth remembering the intention is to save you from harm – rather like an over-protective parent.

When you feel there is a purpose to what you’re doing, it can be easier to overcome your resistance and spur yourself on. So remember why you’re here. Go and do whatever your heart is telling you to do.

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