The calling card of your most viscious adversary

The Calling Card of Your Most Vicious Adversary

Hey You, It’s #2.

I was thinking of you while laying in bed last night.

And, I’m thinking of you now and my thought is… “You probably shouldn’t read this.”

Anyhow, an evening capped by an enormous stein of  “Blue Moon” garnished with orange slice and three heaving slices of Meat Lovers pizza at our local pie joint, “Barros” had this 140 pound hulk ready for bed by 11:00.

I was all but asleep when my dear friend, Lenny popped into my room to ask me some retarded question.  This jarred me awake enough to mumble to myself…  “What am I going to share with you today?”

This inspired me to fold up to 90 degrees in my bed and finally start taking notes on Ken McCarthy’s System 2009 Seminar for you.  After finishing Ken’s first session at around 2 AM I clocked out and let myself soundlessly snooze.

You’re gonna love these notes by the way.  More on those in a sec.

After I woke up at around 10:30 (a luxury, internet marketing has afforded) and read through my goals, I decided to whip up some of my gourmet sandwiches before putting these notes up on the blog for you.  While doing so I was listening to Steven Pressfield’s “War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” through my Bose headphones.

Using my NET (No Extra Time) like while cooking, shaving, cleaning etc. allows me to upload primo information into my mind that generates top notch self talk.  You might want to try it.

While hanging out with Steven this morning, I slammed head first into the conclusion that at this point in my life…I’m letting “Resistance” clobber the hell out of me and steal precious life experiences away that are mine for the taking if I’d only have the courage to stand up to this punk.

Having all the notes for all the programs on the planet would does me little to no good if unconsciously I’m looking for ways to sabotage myself.

If you haven’t been blessed by having this book make love to your internal dialogue with it’s message… do yourself a favor.  Download it or go buy it at the bookstore today.

If you own a copy, maybe it’s time to pull it off the shelf and see how it touches you once again at this particular stage in your life.

It’s my personal belief that NO ONE who follows this blog should be without Steven’s wisdom.  This topic and the way he presents it are that potent.  So to get you started, I’ve typed out some key points  directly from the book  that  I found on Google Reader.

BEWARE! While reading this, there’s a very good chance you’ll come face to face with your own worst personal enemy.  Now’s the time to wuss out if that’s not something you’re ready to conquer….


The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities that most commonly elicit Resistance:

1) The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.

2) The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise for profit otherwise.

3) Any diet or health regimen.

4) Any program of spiritual advancement.

5) Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.

6) Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.

7) Education of every kind.

8) Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.

9) The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.

10) Any act that entails commitment of the heart.  The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.

11) The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.

In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.  Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.  Any of these will elicit Resistance.

Note Taking Nerd #2) Don’t know about you, but I’m dealing with varying degrees of resistance, some massive; some mild, in each and every one of those categories.  And, throughout my life if I think of every high & low point, at least one of these themes was the dominant flavor of the month.


Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled.  But it can be felt.  We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential.  It’s a repelling force.  It’s negative.  It’s aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.

Note Taking Nerd #2) The technology that’s been revolutionary in my life for helping me manage this energy field in our Somatic (body) mind is the Sedona Method originated by the late Lester Levenson.  Another protege of Lester’s by the name of Larry Crane has produced his own spin on this.  Either of them in my experience, are amazing.  Check ’em out.


Resistance seems to come from outside ourselves.  We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids.  “Peripheral opponents,” as Pat Riley used to say when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers.

Resistance is not a peripheral opponent.  Resistance arises from within.  It is self-generated and self-perpetuated.  Resistance is the enemy within.


Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.

It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole.  Resistance is protean.  It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you.  It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man.

Resistance has no conscience.  It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned.  If you take Resistance as its word, you deserve everything you get.  Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.

Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North–meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing.

We can use this.  We can use it as a compass.  We can navigate by resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others.

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

Note Taking Nerd #2This goes right in line with the saying, “Whatever you resist, persists.”


We’re wrong if we think we’re the only ones struggling with Resistance.

Everyone who has a body experiences Resistance.


Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five.  It other words, fear doesn’t go away.  The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.

Note Taking Nerd #2Do you remember the “No Fear” sticker and T-shirt fad of the 90’s and early 2000’s?  I couldn’t ever wear one of these shirts and feel any kind of integrity.  I knew I was scared of all kinds of shit.  And you know what?  Even the toughest, balls-to-the-wall, dare devil wearing them, is too.

He just manages the fear differently than most people do.  He says, hears and sees things inside his mind in an empowering way, so when faced with the seemingly impossible or crazy, he acts despite being afraid.

Changing the way you respond to disasters dumped in your lap is what our Transformation report will center around.  Keep your eyes open for it.


Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable.  Resistance aims to kill.

It’s target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us.

Resistance means business.  When we fight it, we are in a war to the death.


Resistance has no strength of it’s own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us.  We feed it with power by our fear of it.

Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.

Note Taking Nerd #2In Tony Robbin’s program “Power to Shape Your Destiny” he says that when we re-frame; change the way we see challenges and view them not as problems… but as worthy opponents for us to overcome, we get the opportunity to be the hero starring in the movie of our life.

He talks about how all the greatest stories, true or not, are the ones of redemption.  The stories where a person, a person maybe not to unlike yourself, meets an enemy who seems impossible to overcome and through blood, sweat & tears… triumphs over their oppressor and goes on to experience a walk, talk and surge of pride never felt before.

Tony also quotes Ken Blanchard when talking about this topic… “Life is like the game of Monopoly.  When the games over, it all goes back in the box.”

Who you become is all that you get to take with you when we back out of  this garage of a body that houses your spirit.  Who you become directly influences what kind of value you provide while here, the relationships you cultivate, thus the legacy you’ll be remembered by.  Who are you gonna hit the road as?


Resistance by definition is self-sabotage.  But there’s a parallel peril that must also be guarded against: sabotage by others.

When a writer begins to overcome her resistance–in other words, when she actually starts to write–she may find that those close to her begin to act strange.  They may become moody or sullen, they may get sick; they may acuse the awakening writer of “changing,” of “not being the person she was.”  The closer these people are to the awakening writer, the more bizarrely they will act and the more emotion they will put behind their actions.

They are trying to sabotage her.

The reason is that they are struggling, consciously or unconsciously, against their own Resistance. The awakening writer’s success becomes a reproach to them.  If she can beat these demons, why can’t they?

Often couples or close friends,even entire families, will enter into tacit compacts whereby each individual pledges (unconsciously) to remain mired in the same slough in which she and all her cronies have become so comfortable.  The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket.

The awakening artist must be ruthless, not only with herself but with others.  Once you make your break, you can’t turn around for your buddy who catches his trouser leg on the barbed wire.  The best thing you can do for that friend (and he’d tell you this himself, if he really is your friend) is to get over the wall and keep motating.

The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.

Now, let’s consider the next aspect of Resistance: symptoms.

Note Taking Nerd #2) I have two stories of overcoming this demon.  One mine.  One is my mentor’s.

First I’ll air my dirty laundry.  Years and years ago, I made the conscious decision to separate myself from my friends who I couldn’t bring up with me because even if the we’re willing, I didn’t have much to offer.

These were friends who partied any and everyday of the week.  Cruising for loose women, alcohol and enormous bags of weed was their full-time agenda.  I was one of the only ones who worked full-time.  This ensured that when I did join in on the rolicking fun, I was freshly dressed and had pockets that were breaded.

Then, I met Note Taking Nerd #1.

He was and still is a friend of the family and came over to house quite often.  I guess he saw there was hope for this booze swilling, bong-blasting, ladies man because he decided to invest his time in taking me under his wing & mentoring me.  This was the person that slowly but surely changed my entire life for the better.

As you’ll learn in our Transformation report, people never change when they don’t want to.  Or, when they have zero relationship with the person seeking to influence the other.  Change happens fast, but only under the right conditions.

Note Taking Nerd #1 himself is a re-formed wild man.

I can still remember him telling me the story of a moment that impacted  his metamorphosis from aimless street brawler to a man who was a force for good.

Nerd #1 was known as one of the roughest men in our city because he was always ready to fight and when he did, most of the squabbles never lasted past one punch.  Fighting Golden Gloves as a child, along with overcoming huge obstacles allowed him to steam roll any and all wanna-be tough guys.

Then he met Marty & Eric.  If Nerd #1 was Mike Tyson, these guys individually were Mike Tyson on steroids and PCP.  Put them together and they were almost indestructable.

What made this duo so menacing wasn’t any formal fighting lessons.  It was an abusive childhood that taught ’em violence was the answer to any kind of resistance you get.  Not just pushing and wrestling confrontations but put-you-in-the ER kinda of violence.

Here’s an example of how loco one of these brothers was…

On one of their adventures they challenged a guy who had luckily brought along in the car with him, a baseball bat pierced with nails.  Marty was hard.  Hard enough to survive the encounter with both arms broken and punctured.

Days later, my friend meets him at party where he’s got both arms propped, hanging out to his side, bent at 90 degrees held up by two support braces coming from a rig around his waist that supported his plastered clubbers.

Just being who he is, he starts talking shit to somebody and is all in their face like an angry coach.  Guess what happened?  Marty ends up headbutting the guy into submission.  Yeah.

The dynamic duo spoke Nerd #1’s hard nosed language and for years they partied like rockstars and fought anyone on the street who thought they were tough enough…  just about every day of the day of the week.  Yes, partied and fought Sunday through Saturday.  Not one or the other.  Both.

I can’t imagine too many other situations that build as unbreakable a bond with another man than having him be by your side while facing death, slugging it out with knife-wielding truckers, gang bangers and drug enraged heathens.

Not because duty calls and they’ll get in trouble from superior officers if they don’t.  Because they want to.

So, when Nerd #1 serendipitously met his mentor that believed in him… he came to the realization that he had potential to do something with his life.

But if he kept hell raising with his “Brothers”, he’d have zero chance of turning his life around.

Scared shitless, tears ready to drop, he went to his friend Eric, (think Marty was in prison at the time) and told him that the only opportunity he had to make something of his life was if he had to stopped hanging out with him.

Fully anticipating a guilt trip or a tirade or a throw down… he got the polar opposite reaction.  His “Brother” was happy for him, admitted that he was right, hugged him and wished him well on his journey.

I’m grateful to Eric now because I’m seeing that had he not been this understanding, I’d probably be dead, in jail or holed up in the projects in Denver, Colorado.  I’d also like to give a shout out of gratitude to my friend #1 for believing more in me than I did myself all those years ago, all the way through today.

You’re world class #1 and I’m a lucky guy to have you on my team.

Do you have any relationship with a person you aren’t as appreciative of enough?  If so, take a moment today to call, write a note to or tell them in person how grateful you are for their sticking by your side.


Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.  We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.”  Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit.  We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives.  There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.  This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second, we can sit down and do our work.


Sometimes Resistance takes the form of sex, or an obsessive preoccupation with sex.  Why sex?  Because sex provides immediate and powerful gratification.  When someone sleeps with us, we feel validated and approved of, even loved.  Resistance gets a big kick out of that.

It knows it has distracted us with a cheap, easy fix and kept us from doing our work.

Of course not all sex is a manifestation of Resistance.  In my experience, you can tell by the measure of hollowness you feel afterward.  The more empty you feel, the more certain you can be that your true motivation was not love or even lust but Resistance.

It goes without saying that this principle applies to drugs, shopping, masturbation, TV, gossip, alcohol, and the consumption of all products containing fat, sugar, salt, or chocolate.

Do you regularly ingest any substance, controlled or otherwise, whose aim is the alleviation of depression, anxiety, etc.?  I offer the following experience:

I once worked as a writer for a big New York ad agency.  Our boss used to tell us: Invent a disease.  come up with the disease, he said and we can sell the cure.

Attention Deficit Disorder, Seasonal Affect Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder.  These aren’t dideases, they’re marketing ploys.  Doctors didn’t discover them, copywriters did.  Marketing departments did.

Drug companies did.

Depression and anxiety may be real.  But they can also be Resistance.

When we drug ourselves to blot out our soul’s call, we are being good Americans and exemplary consumers.  We’re doing exactly what TV commercials and pop materialist culture have been brainwashing us to do from birth.  Instead of applying self-knowledge, self-discipline, delayed gratification, and hard work, we simply consume a product.

Many pedestrians have been maimed or killed at the intersection of Resistance and Commerce.


Doctors estimate that seventy to eighty percent fo their business is non-health related.  People aren’t sick, they’re self-dramatizing.

Sometimes the hardest part of a medical job is keeping a straight face.

As Jerry Seinfeld observed of his twenty years of dating: “That’s a lot of acting fascinated.”

The acquisition of a condition lends significance to one’s existence.

An illness, a cross to bear… Some people go from condition to condition; they cure one, and another pops up to take its place.  The condition becomes a work of art in itself, a shadow version of the real

creative act the victim is avoiding by expending so much care cultivating his condition.

A victim act is a form of passive aggression.  It seeks to achieve gratification not by honest work or a contribution made out of one’s experience or insight or love, but by the manipulation of others through silent (and not-so-silent) threat.  The victim wants others to come to his rescue or to behave as he wishes by holding them hostage to the prospect of his own further illness/meltdown/mental dissolution, or simply by threatening to make their lives so miserable that they do what he wants.

Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work.

Don’t do it.  If you’re doing it, stop.


When I began this book, Resistance almost beat me.

This is the form it took.  It told me (the voice in my head) that I was a writer of fiction, not nonfiction, and that I shouldn’t be exposing these concepts of Resistance literally and overtly; rather, I should incorporate them metaphorically into a novel.  That’s a pretty damn subtle and convincing argument.  The rationalization Resistance presented me with was that I should write, say, a war piece in which the principles of Resistance were expressed as the fear a warrior feels.

Resistance also told me I shouldn’t seek to instruct, or put myself forward as a purveyor of wisdom; that this was vain, egotistical, possibly even corrupt, and that it would work harm to me in the end.

That scared me.  It made a lot of sense.

What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead.  I was developing symptoms.  As soon as I sat down and began, I was okay.

Note Taking Nerd #2Be on the watch for our transformation report.  The stuff #1 and I learned while applying what’s in there is what has allowed us to be as wildly successful as we have… despite us not having fancy pants guru status.

Once again, I’ve spent over 5 hours on this post so with that said, go get this book.  YOU WILL THANK ME SOME DAY FOR BRINGING IT TO YOUR ATTENTION.

In the words Steven Pressfield used right after he typed “THE END” for his first novel he actually followed through on all the way to completion… “RIP motherfucker.”

Talk to you again soon,

Note Taking Nerd #2

P.S. Thought I forgot about your Ken McCarthy notes, didn’t ya?  Well, I haven’t.  They’ll be in my next post for you.