On a recent episode of Tim Ferriss' podcast, author Seth Godin said -- among many thought-provoking things -- that a book is the ultimate bargain. Few $30 purchases have the power to change your life. One book that's changed mine is The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. For about $10, this book might be the ultimate bargain for anyone looking to create anything, or be more effective.
I've been revisiting WOA when I have a few minutes. Pressfield, a Marine, gives the enemy of creativity a name: Resistance. His book is a manual to knowing that enemy. I refer to WOA in times of self-doubt, or when I need a double shot of motivation. My often-stalled attempt at a novel is the most frequent casualty of Resistance. But there are other casualties -- casualties I'm only beginning to notice.
I ended up in a newsroom management by happenstance at young age and with comparatively minimal experience. One of the most difficult aspects of leading, one that I still struggle with, is communicating expectations, especially communicating when expectations aren't met. That works both ways on the chain of command. Subordinates need to be able to communicate their expectations, questions and concerns.
Why do I suck at it? Resistance. Pressfield points out that you can use Resistance as a compass: the more Resistance you feel when contemplating whether or not to act, the more important it is that you act. Resistance can be a compass for communication in this way. The more difficult the conversation, the more Resistance I feel, and the more important it is that the conversation be had immediately.
In all instances, I strive to prioritize what is difficult, what exudes the most Resistance. I say strive, because I often fail. But everyday, I'm working to improve. And the lessons I encounter along the way might be useful to you, too.
That said, I've been thinking a lot about improving the format of this blog. Inspired by Godin's appearance on Ferriss' show, I'm tweaking things. You can expect short posts daily, with a few longer posts thrown in during the week, all filled with observations intended to be useful to you. Ammo for the fight against Resistance.