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The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - 3 Big Ideas

Transcription Below


This book made me feel ready to go and ready to work and it made me laugh out loud a few times too.

Quick Intro

Introduced on Amazon as follows:

"A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline.

Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.

Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life."

So, what are three things that we can use from this book?

3 Things You Can Use

1. Resistance is the Enemy Within

Resistance is an impersonal force of nature that tries to keep you from the life that you want to live. Resistance will do anything to keep you from your work and is always lying to you and rationalizing. Some of us know resistance by the name procrastination.

But resistance feels like low-grade misery. If you have ever skipped on your work or important task for the day and instead sat in front of the TV then you know what resistance feels like. That feeling that is hovering over the potential enjoyment of your TV show that is a deep but lightly vibrating disappointment.

Resistance is an adversary. Resistance needs you to feed it for it to thrive- it can't exist without you. It is up to you to ignore the resistance and do your work.

"Did my four hours of work today. Good, bad, doesn't matter. What's important is that I have overcome resistance."

2. Amateur Vs. Professional

Resistance hates it when we turn pro.

Chuck Love has a great quote, "Motivation is for amateurs," that really sums up the philosophy of this part.

The professional:

  • Does not take failure or success personally

  • Self-validates

  • Knows that if they keep the huskies mushing, sooner or later they will pull into Nome

  • Knows there is always more to learn

  • Does not tolerate disorder

  • Most importantly, is even more resolute and implacable than resistance

3. Don't Cheat Us of Your Contribution

Everyone's got something that people can appreciate and learn from. It's important for you to get your something out there. Feel the real feelings of fulfillment that come from helping others and/or giving others direction.

It's a win-win. We benefit from your art/service/contribution and you benefit by being feeling pride when you look in the mirror.

Don't cheat us of your contribution.

Give us what you've got!

A Few Words:

I love the way Steven Pressfield frames resistance. He creates an adversarial relationship between you and resistance- if you win you will live a full life but if resistance wins you will toil through a life un-lived.

"The professional knows that resistance is like a telemarketer; if you so much as say hello- you're finished."

The audio reader does a great job with this book and really gets into it.

This is the kind of book that you read once a year.

And finally, procrastination can become a habit. You can always turn the tide. This second you can do your work.

Click the links, buy the book and then go get to it!

Want to Read it?

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The War of Art (Audible Version)

The War of Art (Physical Copy)

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Punching Sounds (in video) by: Mike Koenig

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