Navigate By Resistance

Recently I came across an inspiring video below with a simple yet profound message.

What we want to do least is what we need most. Fear is our compass. And we need to navigate by resistance to achieve success.

This idea resonates with every cell of my body. It also echoes with Richard Bach’s call to run away from safety.

Looking back at my life, I realize that whenever I had the courage to overcome my fears and embrace change, the results were overwhelming.

Ultimately we always have a choice between quest and comfort.

Shoot For The Moon

In martial arts, in order to break an object you need to focus on a point beyond it.

This is pure physics.

For every action there is reaction and resistance. When applying your power and speed through and beyond a target, their vectors will be pulled back towards you. So eventually you end up breaking the object.

The same principle applies to human life in general.

If you want some result, you need to work a lot. And if you want a stunning result, you must work off your ass for it.

We must aim high in order to achieve something. Simply because there will be resistance on the way slowing us down.

And in order to achieve most we need to aim as high as possible.

You Don’t Have The Guts To Be What You Wanna Be

“Scarface” is by far one of my favourite movies. And Al Pacino, who brilliantly depicted Tony Montana’s character, is my favourite actor ever.

Despite the cruelty of many scenes, “Scarface” contains many mind-blowing dialogues (or monologues, to be more precise) voiced by Tony Montana.

In my opinion, the “bad guy speech” characterizes the main hero best of all. Being a head of the criminal clan, Montana nevertheless will not compromise his principles: keep your word, be honest, be yourself.

As Abraham Maslow put it, “What a man can be, he must be.”

Watch out – the video below contains inappropriate language :).

I’m Not an Idiot – I’m a Dreamer!

A few days ago I watched a beautiful movie called “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. The main idea is very deep. It’s about a tragedy of human life when everything goes wrong, and we retreat to our comfort zone (even if it’s only in our heads), from where we are so afraid to get out and back into the world. But this is also a movie about dreamers.

Walter Mitty is a man of great potential, brave heart and talent. He is simply scared to give himself a chance to put his great ideas into life, and drowns in his bright yet crazy fantasies. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a film about the first and most important step, about an event that pushes us to overcome ourselves and perform heroic deeds.

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I think many can draw a parallel between Walter Mitty’s life and his or her own.

If every second of your life is filled with sense and action, this film and post are not for you. Rather, it addresses those who think their lives lack brightness and who are stuck in everyday routine and chores. Walter Mitty sets a vivid example of how to turn “from a caterpillar into a butterfly”.

Action is indispensable. Only action brings true knowledge and moves you towards your goals and dreams. However, the very first step is to have a Dream.

They say one can tell a lot about a person by observing his friends. Others say you can understand someone by looking into the books he or she reads. Likewise you would learn a great deal about someone if you could know his dreams.

Take a few seconds to to address a simple question:

What is my biggest dream? Or, what are my biggest dreams?

If you can answer these instantly, congratulations! You have a direction, at least in your mind, where you want to go. A true Dream has noting to do with day-dreaming. Day-dreaming is an idle wasting of time that could be used for action. A real dream is like a vision where you want to stand after taking the road.

I believe once we know what ours dreams are, with hard-work, perseverance, discipline and patience, we are doomed to reach our destinations. And even if not, the lessons learned on the way will be an invaluable experience. After all, everything happens for the best.

So what if there is no answer to the question above? Then start dreaming! Who said a “small person” can’t have big dreams in his heart? Even an average office employee, not only a Superman, wants to perform sometimes maybe an insane yet heroic deed, believe in his or her strength and courage. Walter Mitty proves that is absolutely possible.

Quest Vs. Comfort

Everybody seeks comfort and security in his life. This is part of human nature, and can be partially explained by the survival instinct inherited from the animal kingdom.

The truth is, however, staying in comfort zone for a long time is dangerous.

Why is that? How can something rooted in our nature be dangerous to our own selves?

The answer is avoiding challenges in your life cuts you off from opportunities for growth and improvement. Like body needs regular training, soul needs regular challenges to stay fit. A weak soul cannot be happy.

A stabilized, normalized and settled down life is not bad in itself. It is bad when it becomes a life-long habit though.

A job that is not a dream one but pays the bills? Fine. A partner you put up with out of fear to stay alone? OK. A lifestyle full of TV and online games without bright emotions? No problem either. The issue here is that all these “OKs” finally lead you to live the life of someone else.

I am not saying we must constantly go extreme and do something crazy with our lives. The point is we need some kind of inner fire that must be always kept running.

For example, doing some interesting projects at your workplace. Trying to help homeless, disabled, or anyone in need. Going for a marathon run even if you mind protests loudly. Learning a new language. Starting a new sport. Reading the “Capital” series by Karl Marx. Acquiring a new skill.

The opportunities are indeed endless.

This kind of inner fire, or quest, or challenge is absolutely necessary not only to learn new things, develop yourself and transform. The problem is that if you don’t start this, sooner or later life will force you to do so, but in a way which will not be so pleasant compared to if you would initiate the change yourself. I like to formulate this principle as “Create a problem yourself so that you don’t get problems from the outside”.

To sum up, I believe both strive for comfort and challenge is indispensable. There is no contradiction in this statement, as man has a dialectical nature (like anything else in this world).

Comfort is necessary to stay peaceful and relaxed. Challenge is necessary to feel alive. As Richard Bach nicely put it in “Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit”:

It must happen to us all…We pack up what we’ve learned so far and leave the familiar behind. No fun, that shearing separation, but somewhere within, we must dimly know that saying goodbye to safety brings the only security we’ll ever know.