Take the Leap
“The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap from the rim of the bucket.” –Steven Pressfield
Have you ever decided to start a diet or spiritual practice, maybe you would like to sponsor a child in some far-off land, or run for office. Perhaps your goal was to champion for world peace.
You didn’t do it, or else the whole idea quickly drifted away.
Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter that doesn’t paint, or an entrepreneur who doesn’t begin a venture?
Then you know what Resistance is.
Resistance is a word I got from Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art. It means not doing the work you were meant to do. Pressfield wandered for years in his VW Van before he finally sat down to a typewritter, and found his calling.
John Travolta shared with James Lipton's TV show Inside the Actor's Studio, that producers told him he had not talent and wouldn't make it as an actor.
His response: "Try're nuts."
And who owns at least seven jet airplanes, and has a Boeing 747 sitting in his yard?
Pressfield’s point is you do your work anyway—even if it’s terrible. You show up. You put your butt on the chair.
Resistance hits any health regime, spiritual advancement, diet, any calling in writing, music, education, or political movement.
The awakening person must be ruthless with themselves and with others who sabotage their efforts. You know how many times, “The starving artist,” has been played? Me neither.
Procrastination? Well, what can I say? You know about that. There are always distractions. Ill health, getting into trouble, soap operas—nothing like dad getting drunk, mom getting sick, and junior showing up with a swastika tattoo, to set a family spinning out of control.
Do we believe in freedom, affluence, stability, and enough resources to permit the luxury of self-examination? Do we believe that the world is advancing, however haltingly, toward a better world?
Or do we view humanity as fallen from a higher state? Do we believe in a philosophy of powerlessness? Do we need a doctrine to tell us what to do, rather than decide for ourselves?
I woke up this morning humming, “We’re simply soldiers in petticoats.” Remember Mrs. Banks in the movie Mary Poppins? The original Mary Poppins, that is, released 1964. That was 55 years ago! I saw the movie with my mother and little sister, and my mother didn’t quite get the laughing on the ceiling bit—what a shot. Ed Wynn was perfect.
“Although we adore men individually, as a rule, they’re rather stupid.” See what Mrs. Banks could get away with.
That is art.
Don’t be insulted men, we adore you individually, but as a rule, we’ve had some pretty stupid men circling the globe recently.
Some people might think Mary Poppins as a frivolous child’s movie, but think of this, Mrs. Banks was a suffragette. The Fiduciary Bank, where Mr. Banks worked, was greedy and controlling. Michael, the altruistic little boy, wanted to feed the birds with his tuppence. The parents were distracted and shuffled their children off to a nanny.
A bit of trivia; In the lost and found at Walt Disney World , there is a wooden leg with the word,"Smith" on it.
(The joke is from the movie Mary Poppins. Burt:"I know of a man with a wooden leg named Smith." Ed Wynn:"What was the name of his other leg?" Laughter and up on the ceiling again.
Don't be too serious.
I found after reading Pressfiels's quote that it is true, if one crab tries to leave the bucket the others will pull him back in. Fishermen knew this and leave the lid off the bucket. So, know, that if you try to leave the tribe, others may try to pull you back in.
This was my most popular blog post from travelswithjo.com. Well, maybe it was Vision Training, however, if you have read this one, thanks, and sorry I am repeating myself, but I wanted to offer a small eBook, 10,000 words by the same title. Take The Leap. Thanks Steven Pressfield for providing the impetus to write it, and a reader who said I ought to.
The price is $1.99, and I will send a link via your email, so please send me an accurate one--no spam will come to you from me, only the eBook link will leap into your ebox. Thanks for ordering--you warm my cockles, and I can see that you are one awesome leaper.