JAN SPILLER'S DIARY

Jan Spiller

HARNESSING OPPOSITION

by Jan Spiller

Sometimes it seems like there’s so much “second force” or opposition to my plans that it’s almost not worth it to initiate anything.

In my mind, it’s clear: there’s a problem, handle it directly and get on with your life.  At least, that ‘s my “picture” of how it should be, and of course, life isn’t that way at all.  There seem to be a lot of “detours” in getting to the goal.  And yet somehow- by going through the process step by step- we glean the information that shows us the Bigger Picture of how to create the success.

I had an example of how opposition works this last week.  My portable printer lost its connection to my laptop.  For me, on the road and making my living from the output of my computer/printer, it was a serious problem.  Immediately, my intention to have my printer connection restored was met with opposition:  I have a specialized Macintosh and I found myself in a small city with few people who knew about my equipment.

Finally I located a Macintosh shop, which turned out to be a one-person operation.  Located an hour from where I was staying, the only technician said he was too busy to deal with my problem and I’d have to come back another time.  He refused to even look at the printer interconnection already set on my computer and stubbornly insisted he would have to download the printer driver from the internet from scratch.  It would take at least a couple of hours and I would have to come back at another time.   Opposition ...

Feeling frustrated, I went on to my next stop: a film development store.  As it happened, the fellow who owned that shop also was a Macintosh person and when he saw my Mac, reminded me that I had a rare model with two operating systems.  However, he didn’t have time to help me figure out how to connect my printer either.   Opposition ...

That evening I was spending time with a friend and I told him my frustrating problem.  Under his guidance, I downloaded the printer driver afresh from the Internet (a piece of information from the Mac shop) AND downloaded onto my “Classic” operating system- rather than the more advanced OSX (a piece of information from the Photo shop fellow).  The connection was successful and my printer worked immediately.

For many people this would have been a small problem, but for me it was a BIG one.  What I learned is that if we are OPEN, opposition is a force that actually helps us to realize our goal. 

If we allow opposition to “point us to the next step” it lays out a precise path that is in alignment with what we want (in this case, I also didn’t want to spend a fortune getting the connection to work- which made the road a little more circuitous).   It gives us the information about where we need to make an adjustment for our aims to be realized.

The idea is not to blame the outside world, or ‘give up’ when we meet resistance to our plans.  It is not our plans that must be abandoned, but simply the route we thought would get us there.  The idea is to view opposition as a signpost that tells us where to go (and where not to go) to claim our prize.