The Unlived Life

In Steven Pressfield’s great book The War of Art he says “Most of us have two lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands Resistance.”

The life we live is obviously what we do everyday, our routines, our schedules, but have you ever thought about what is the unlived within you?  I think the unlived life within us can be the dream life, it can be the energy we have that we are not using, it can be the life that we secretly want that no one else knows about, it can be the untapped power and potential that we have.

I think everyone wants to live the unlived life, but sadly most don’t. There is a reason why we do not experience this unlived life.  Pressfield calls this resistance.  Can you identify the resistance that is keeping you from the unlived life?

There are many hindrances to living your unlived dream life.  One is that we are so overwhelmed by the largeness of it that we don’t do anything.  We don’t make a move, we don’t make a decision, and we end up handicapping ourselves.  One key to living the unlived life is breaking it down into smaller pieces.

What is it you can do today to chip away at the resistance?  What can you do today to begin? Where can you start?

For me, the unlived life within me was living life on my own terms.  The life I was living was the life someone else had planned for me.  I’m not sure who planned it (maybe I planned it), but I knew inside me that this was not the life I had dreamed of.  My resistance was what others would think when I began to live the unlived life.

My unlived life was getting out of the shadows of what I had built and accomplished in North Carolina and move to NYC.  The resistance to the move was money, employment, and real estate.

One of the early things I did to chip away at resistance was simple.  I started looking for a job in NYC.  I could do nothing until I had that secured.  When my family and I moved I felt like it was the line of demarcation for us.  We were finally going to live the life we were meant to live.  We often overlook the simple things like looking for a job or putting in a resume, but I think this is the place where most people don’t get past.

I find that one of the biggest things we can do to chop away at resistance is to work on ourselves. I said in a previous post “What are you doing to improve?  What are the things that you can start today to improve yourself?”  Maybe you know someone who is living their unlived life that you can talk to.

I love what Steven King say about starting, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.  After that, things can only get better.”  Fear is the biggest monster that keeps us from starting.  I may write more on fear later, but I don’t know of any other way of conquering fear than just doing it (thank you Nike).

The dangerous thing you can do is to do nothing.  Don’t just wait for something to happen go out and make it happen.

An artist looks at a canvas and sees what can be, but a non-artist looks at it as just a piece of canvas and walks away.  You are an artist.  Pick up the brush and Paint.

Henry ford said “nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

All of life is like this.  Want to run a marathon?  Start with a 5k.  Can’t start with a 5k?  Walk to the end of the block, and before you know it you will be running.

Goethe has said “whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.  Begin it now.”

Go, do, begin, start!

Can you identify the unlived life?  What is the one thing you can do to begin chopping away at resistance?

On Wednesday I will be blogging over at Jon Mertz’s site Check it out!  He has a great site on leadership where he invited me to share with his audience.  I’m very honored to be able to write for him.  My post will be exciting and different than what you are used to reading here, but I think you will enjoy it.