I learned a lot about how to AVOID inner war by reading the “Art of War” by SunTzu. I read the book because I wanted to better understand why “war” is so commonly used as in our culture as a metaphor for personal growth. In my opinion, gardening and cultivation is a far more accurate metaphor for how personal growth really works.
To my surprise I found that he actually teaches war as a last resort. Yes so many people have distorted his work and use it to justify using war metaphors as a primary way of interacting with themselves, like “Conquering Your Inner Critic” or “Battling your Inner Demons.” Another popular example of this is the book, “The War of Art.” Sun Tzu actually teaches the utter brilliance of winning by never going to war – it is a far superior strategy to avoid war and if possible, turn your opponents into allies.
Another common myth is that The Art of War is about how to deal with enemies. Interestingly, I found that he used the term “oppositional forces” and “opponents” rather than enemies. According to Sun Tzu, hate or disrespect for your opposition actually makes YOU weak…not them.
Think of your resistance as your natural opposition to “over-controlling” or “over-pressuring” or “not listening” to some part of yourself that isn’t yet “READY” for what you are proposing.
When you are resisting doing something you think you “should” be doing, instead of fighting it, try asking yourself one of more of these questions that help you “agilize” rather than go to war:
- What would help me feel more “ready” to do this?
– What time of day might I more naturally be inclined to do this?
– What’ would make this feel easier?
– What is the really value of doing this?
– What will the impact be? in the short term?
– How little of this could I do and call it good enough?
– What assumptions am I making about when, where, how, how much, how long, with who, how perfect, how many?
– What could I redesign to make this more attractive?
Focusing on readiness to do things rather than “pushing” or coercing yourself is much more satisfying in the long run. Try it a couple times.
See how your resistance changes when your creative brain kicks in. : )
- Resisting the War on Resistance. BOOK REVIEW of “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles”
- The Power of Tiny Actions to Change your Emotional Life: Could you use a little “salt in your soup” today?
- The Agile Way of Thinking about the Parts of the Self
- A New Way of Thinking about the Emotional “Self”
- 5 Steps to Cultivating the Power of Habit – How to Transform Self-Limiting Thought Habits with Agile Thinking and Emotional Habits