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  • Julianna Sweeney

Resisting Happiness | Matthew Kelly

As I'm going through my notes and writing this recommendation, I can't help but think that it's probably a good idea for myself to read this one again sometime soon.

I read this book a few years back with Tyler. I remember it being a great read at the time, but now I'm coming to find that many of the principles that Kelly outlines apply so well to this new season of life - one of major transitions.

It's so easy for us to fall victim to resistance - heck, just earlier today I chose to sit on my butt and watch an episode of TV instead of working on music because I was so tired from work... but it didn't make me happy. I knew it wouldn't make me happy but I did it anyway because it was easy.

When you really think about it, it's such a funny concept. Just the other day I was talking to some co-workers about keeping a clean space at home. One of my pals mentioned how they hate the idea of having a messy room but they can't find it in themselves to do it. They know they'd feel better if they did, but they give into the resistance. Do you have something in your life like that?


  • “Wherever you find excellence, you find continuous learning. They go hand in hand. Wherever you find that continuous learning is missing, you find mediocrity.”

  • “Knowing that death is not far off brings remarkable clarity. After that news, there is no middle ground; something is either very important or not important at all.”

  • “The hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.”

  • “Be kind because everyone you’ll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.”

  • “Whatever your age, if you have not yet fallen in love with learning, begin that love affair today. How? Go wherever your interests lead you. It is the perfect place to start. Rekindle a childlike curiosity. Ask why a lot. Free yourself from outcomes; you don’t need a reason and you don’t need to accomplish anything."

  • “What is resistance? It’s that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you, it’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you, and it’s everything in between. It’s the desire and tendency to delay something you should be doing right now.”

  • “Things that we cannot name tend to build in mystery and become dangerous. Simply naming, defining, and learning to recognize resistance in the moments of our days causes it to lose most of its power over us. It is no longer a mystery because we have named it.”

  • “We are all struggling with something. Some of our struggles are easier to hide than others. My struggle with food is there for all to see. Others can hide their struggles. But sometimes being able to hide our struggles makes them harder, not easier.”

  • “If you want a Coke, have water. If you want the steak, have the salmon. If you want to take a shortcut, go the long way. If you want to cut a conversation short, hear the person out. If you want to stop working, push yourself to go on for another thirty minutes. Give up the little things, not to punish yourself, but as a short prayer and to strengthen your will.”

  • “The ability to delay gratification is intimately linked with success. You cannot succeed at anything unless you are willing and able to delay gratification.”

  • “You cannot succeed at anything unless you are willing and able to delay gratification...Resistance hates discipline. It hates self-control. Resistance abhors delayed gratification and any type of self-denial that makes your heart, mind, and soul strong.”

  • “From time to time it is good for us all to learn to listen again. Listen to those you love. Listen to your body. Listen to your conscience and soul. Listen to God.”

  • “People do stupid things because they mistakenly believe those stupid things will make them happy.”

The first lesson is that you never defeat resistance once and for all. It is a daily battle.

If you find yourself in a constant battle with resistance and need some help understanding what's holding you back and how to overcome it, I can't recommend this book enough. It's taught me lessons in the past and I still feel I have much more to learn from it.


Sending love always,


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