The ultimate litmus test

So you’ve started on your project, new business, diet, exercise regimen, or whatever endeavour it is that has been gnawing at you for ages.

Now that you’ve begun, you are starting to get some runs on the board. Things are taking shape, your enthusiasm is building and so is your vision for how this will look in the future.

Then, all of a sudden, BAM!

You hit the wall.

Or, as Steven Pressfield put it in Do The Work:

You’ve entered the belly of the beast.

The budget you had in mind needs to be doubled, just to get to a minimum viable product.

Your significant other is getting cold feet and thinks you should drop this and focus on a more secure occupation.

You’ve just reviewed everything you’ve written in the past 3 months, it’s crap, and it needs to go in the bin.

You’ve been eating all of the right food, sticking with your exercise routine, but the scales say your weight has gone up, not down.

Or, you’ve been working on your dissertation for the best part of a year, but your supervisor thinks you are way off base, and now you have to do a complete rewrite.

This, dear reader, is our old friend resistance, and unfortunately, it’s not going anywhere.

You are not going to suddenly wake up one morning and find that it’s all smooth seas ahead. Resistance will try to derail you any chance it gets, and one of it’s favourite strategies is to throw up obstacles in your path after you are fully invested in your project, when you are the most vulnerable.

What it all boils down to is that Resistance offers us a test, the answer to which is the ultimate truth as to whether you should continue with your new business, play, movie, book, exercise regimen, or whatever.

Tony Robbins and Steven Pressfield both seem to agree that the test is this question:

How bad do you want it?

Quoting once again from the book Do The Work, Steven Pressfield proposes that you mark your answer on this scale:

  1. Dabbling
  2. Interested
  3. Intrigued but Uncertain
  4. Passionate
  5. Totally Committed

Did you pick number 5?

If you didn’t, quit now. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s with one foot in the ring and one foot out. Passion, enthusiasm, and the feeling that this is a great idea that just might work will eventually fall prey to resistance.

If you did choose number 5, then good for you. Now get back to work.