I was listening to author Stephen Pressfield on The Tim Ferriss Show and although I knew he was a successful writer, what I didn’t know was that he had ‘failed’ for thirty years before he ‘made it.’
That’s a long time.
He said, “If you’ve ever heard of Richard Rohr, who wrote Falling Upward, I think it is. He’s a Franciscan monk and a very deep thinker, and he kind of divides life into two halves, first half and second half. And the first half of your life, he says, is when you’re sort of finding your identity and kind of establishing your presence on the planet, maybe you’re a mom and you say, ‘Oh, okay, I’m a mom. I’m that.’ Or, ‘I’m a lawyer. I bought a house. I have a wife, I have children.’ You’re sort of, in his words, Richard Rohr’s words, R-O-H-R. If you want to look it up, I highly recommend anything by him. You’re creating the vessel that is your life. And then in the second half of your life, you’re filling that vessel. So, you sort of ask yourself, ‘Okay, now I can do it. I’ve got a house. I’ve, whatever. I have a profession. What am I going to do with this? Am I just going to be another crappy person that’s continuing the societal garbage that we have, or am I going to try to find my gift that’s unique to me and bring it forth to the world and try to help in one way or another?’ So, that to me is, there’s the hero’s journey comes first, and when the hero’s journey is over, our artist’s journey begins.”
That second half. When we find our gift and then give it away.
But we end up self-sabotaging sometimes. We get stuck in our groove and think, ‘I don’t have time, or talent, or money, or support.’ We resist leaving our comfort zone even though everything happens at the end of that space.
Stephen said, “Resistance with a capital R, that force of self-sabotage, will try to stop you as a writer or an artist or anybody from achieving your best work, from following your calling, will try to distract you, undermine your self-confidence, make you procrastinate, make you quit, make you give into fear, or, on the other hand, make you such a perfectionist that you spend all day on one paragraph and you accomplish nothing. The concept of little successes, or of a routine, is to help you overcome that Resistance.”
How can we build little successes into our day? Doing a couple exercises? Writing a few lines? Reading a paragraph? Eating something that makes our body feel great? And once we feel those little successes, will we be able to lean into something bigger on our journey? Will we find a way to fill our vessel?