I’m not kidding: back in my early twenties I had a roommate who wanted to be the President of the United States. He was completely serious about campaigning for 2020.
Mind you, he had no political experience, no college degree, worked just 10 hours per week, believed in all sorts of conspiracy theories, and I’m pretty sure he was selling marijuana out of his basement apartment. But he was completely serious in his ambition to be Donald Trump’s successor.
It’s obvious that my old roommate will never be the next President of the United States, but he believed he could because it’s easier than actually doing something worthwhile with his life right now. It’s an extreme form of what Steven Pressfield calls “The Resistance” in his book, The War of Art:
“Grandiose fantasies are a symptom of Resistance. They’re the sign of an amateur. The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.” (p. 43).
The example of my old roommate is comical, but The Resistance is all too common:
Do you want to be famous one day? Resistance.
Are you very interested in what’s happening in the lives of famous people? Resistance.
Do you keep up with the Kardashians? Resistance.
It’s much easier to preoccupy yourself with fantasy than it is to do important, scary, worthwhile work today.