Author and internationally-acclaimed speaker Matthew Keller has written a number of marvelous books.

In those books, he consistently refers to one of the greatest enemies of our bettering ourselves as members of the human race. He calls it resistance.

Having lived out the better part of my allotted years, I would tend to agree.

Resistance is everywhere. People of all walks of life resist change.

Children resist the teaching of their parents. Lawbreakers resist arrest ... the list goes on and on.

The late, great sales motivator Zig Ziglar spoke of good and bad this way. Bad habits are easy to start but hard to quit. On the other hand, good habits are hard to start but easy to quit.

Whenever we seek to improve ourselves, resistance always seems to raise its ugly head.

Of course, resistance has a first cousin. Let’s call him/her procrastination. We have all fallen victim to procrastination. Someone once — with tongue in cheek — said, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” It was even made into the title of a song.

Procrastination, like resistance, is a cunning and silent killer — a thief, no less. It will rob you of time and accomplishment. And to cast it aside, you must meet resistance head on.

Another cousin of resistance is hesitation.

I once read of a race horse that seemed destined to win the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, he did not. His jockey — in explaining why his horse failed to win — explained (I am paraphrasing here), “As we entered the home stretch, I had my horse in perfect position to win. But when he heard the roar of the crowd, for the slightest fraction of a second, his ears went up as if to say, ‘What’s that?’ By the time I got his head back in the race, it was too late.” That ever-so-slight hesitation cost him the race.

Here’s a great quote … “On the beach of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who sat down to wait; and waiting, died.”

A great Tennessean, David Crockett, said, “Make sure you are right, then go ahead.”

Someone else was heard to say, “The world is filled with people who can make decisions, but very few of them will.

So, may I recommend an antidote for resistance, procrastination, and hesitation? Sometimes, you just have to “take the bull by the horns.” Or as, W.C. Fields once quipped, “Sometimes, you have to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.”

And we all would do well to remember as the ancients wrote … Four things return not: the spoken word, the sped arrow, time past and opportunity lost.

I came across a poem that has stuck with me throughout the years. It reads ...

“If, with pleasure, you are viewing,

Anything a man is doing,

If you love him, if you prize him, tell him now.

Do not withhold your approbation,

Until the parson makes oration,

And he lies with many lilies on his brow.

For no matter how you shout it,

He won’t really hear about it,

He’ll not count the many teardrops that you shed.

So, if you feel some praise is due him,

Now’s the time to pass it to him,

For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.”

Don’t put important things off.

Hartsville resident Jack McCall is an author and motivational speaker.

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