The Lizard is real. Eat the Lizard.

I am a big fan of Seth Godin, a marketer turned guru of all things story-telling, unleasher of creativity, rooter-outer of mediocre meeting excuses, and author of books promising to show you the route to the peaceful village of Finishing-The-Project.  He, and his cohort-of-sorts, Steven Pressfield, ganged up on me several years ago with their tales of work and patience, their stories of trust and creativity, their realities of struggle and incremental, almost imperceptible achievement. There will be a bibliography at the end of this post.

Both recognize and call out by name an entity that is bred within whose sole purpose is to stop you from doing not only your best work, but any work that will contribute to your life and the lives of those around you. Pressfield call it The Resistance; Godin, the Lizard Brain.

This beast eats productivity and regurgitates fear. It pukes it in your lap, on your work, into your mouth when you’re trying to talk about your ambitions. It is your opposition research and it uses it all against you at once. It’s goal is to ruin you quickly, so that you will never, ever, succeed.

I battle the Lizard every day. Everybody does, if they say they don’t, they’re lying.

There’s silly, courageous hope drawn from romantic Western mythology – St. George defeats the Dragon; Sigfried kills Fafner; Daenerys commands the dragons to do her bidding, etc.

I recently found my mythology here: in Australian Aboriginal grandmothers who preserve their connection to their ancestral lands through controlled burns that flush out lizards, which they grab by the tail, smack on the rocks, cook whole on coals, and eat in their entirety. Here’s another view. Aboriginal Grandmas take no shit from the Lizard.

Here’s your reading list:

Godin: Linchpin, Poke the Box, Ship it

Pressfield: Do the Work, The War of Art

also: Carolyn See: Making a Literary Life; Twyla Tharp: The Creative Habit

 

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