Courting the Forces of Antagonism

Here’s the book I’m studying from each morning:

And here’s the important thing that I learnt today from it, and that I designed myself an exercise about:

THE PRINCIPLE OF ANTAGONISM: A protagonist and his story can only be as intellectually fascinating and emotionally compelling as the forces of antagonism make them.

Robert Mckee – “Story”

But isn’t this true of life, too?

Are the interesting people you meet the ones who seem to have bumbled through life, never really being forced to go up against anything, never really facing any kind of difficulty or antagonistic forces?

Or are the interesting people in fact the ones who have, in one way or another, been challenged by life, been forced to make difficult choices, or had precious things taken from them?

Having to deal with antagonism is no fun. And I know that just from the incredibly minute amount that I have had to deal with in my life. I can’t even imagine what millions of people face on a daily basis. So I’m not going to pretend that it’s fun, or that it’s something to be desired and invited into your life. But then again, isn’t it?

Well, sitting on my bed and typing this to you right now, I say both yes and no.

If you are happy to live as a shadow of who you really are on the inside, then no, antagonism is not desirable. Run from it. Hide from it. Keep looking over your shoulder.

On the other hand, if you want to live the most meaningful life you possibly can, then yes, antagonism is extremely desirable, and you must court it at all costs.

Court antagonism, and you will have no choice but to rise to meet the challenge, becoming stronger in the process. You’ll hate it, and then you’ll be glad you did it.

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