Ironing Out the Resistance

Every morning is not the same. There are days one is feeling up and energetic, while there are others when one is feeling down and unmotivated. Similarly, there are consecutive weeks or months when the drive to accomplish goals seems going north or south.

I have reached the conclusion that the difference between those leading an average life and those who create an impact on the world through their unique contribution is the following: An impactful existence means showing up every day — whether you feel like doing it or not — over a long period of time. I call it ironing out the resistance.

I thought of a nice explanation of this concept one cold morning. It has been around a year when I started taking cold shower first thing in the morning regardless of the weather. I was not feeling like coming out of bed, let alone entering into very cold water. Then I recalled the reason I adopted this habit: it is a ritual to practice controlling your desires as well as facing your worst fears head-on.

The explanation is drawn in the figure above. For every single person, there are up and down days. Many act according to how they are feeling on that particular day. Resting, not doing the required task, procrastinating, and so on. The result is that the output curve sometimes goes up and sometimes goes down, resulting in an overall average accomplishment. On the other hand, successful people iron out this feeling and do what is required, irrespective of what their emotional state is commanding them to do.

As a consequence, the output level goes up and up and up as shown in the figure. In good times, both ordinary and extraordinary persons contribute productively. But on bad days, only the extraordinary contribute on a similar level while the ordinary head for the mediocre. This period is represented by grey rectangles in the figure. While not significant during a short period, the accumulation factor sets up and the difference increases over a long period of time – sometimes it even becomes exponential.

A nice quote by Og Mandino summarizes this concept:

“Weak is he who allows his emotions to control his actions. Strong is he who forces his actions to control his emotions”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *