Are You Doing The Important Work?

?The great challenge in life is not just knowing what to do. It?s doing what we know.?
-Richard Robbins


One of the great struggles in North America is losing weight. Yet the harder we struggle, the larger we seem to get.

Each year there are hundreds, if not thousands of diet books published to show us how to lose weight. The irony? They all say more or less the same thing: eat fewer calories. Yes, they make it sound new, sexy and sophisticated, but they all say the same thing.

Do we struggle to lose weight, then, because of a lack of education? With so much information out there, it’s hard to believe that insufficient knowledge is the culprit.

The secret to weight loss, it turns out, is the same as the secret to producing extraordinary results for most things we want. It isn?t just knowing what to do. It?s doing what we know.

This struggle to do what we know isn?t confined to weight loss, either. We all struggle with important work. Important work is what creates the vast majority of the results we want?it?s the effort that produces our most desired outcomes. It?s the stuff we know we should do, but don?t.

What is the important work in sales? It?s prospecting and marketing to generate new qualified leads on a consistent basis. The number one reason that a sales/business person will fail or not succeed at the level they desire is their inability to generate new business on a consistent basis.

In weight loss, the important work is diet and exercise. If you want to improve a relationship with a loved one, the important work is face time. If you want to write a book or a regular blog, than the important work is sitting down undisturbed and doing the actual writing.

That act?the actual doing?is what defines the difference between the good and the great.

The good do what the great do sometimes.
The great do what the great do all the time.

The great do the important work with painful consistency. Even when it?s hard. Even when they don?t always feel like doing it, they do the important work. So why don?t we all?

Why We Don?t Do The Important Work
This past weekend I read Steven Pressfield?s new book Do The Work (which you can download for free at amazon.com). Steven Pressfield is the author of one of my all-time favourite books, The War of Art. In both of these books he refers to the force that stops of doing the important work as resistance.

In the War of Art, Pressfield says that most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance. He describes resistance as being elicited by any action that rejects immediate gratification in favour of long-term growth, health or integrity. Expressed another way, resistance will appear when we attempt an action that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.

If you can relate to resistance in your own life, then read the The War of Art and Do the Work this week. They are both easy reads?short books that will take you no more that a few hours. If you know you should, but you?re thinking, ?I don?t have the time,? then guess what: that?s resistance talking?.

How have you beat resistance? Let us know in the comments.