Book Review: the War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. (5 min read)

war of art

“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”

In The War of Art Steven Pressfield tackles our greatest demon. That thing called RESISTANCE.

Resistance is a bully! You’re familiar with some form of resistance. Let me start with 10 greatest hits where resistance occurs:

  1. A pursuit of any calling.
  2. The lounging of a product or your business / work.
  3. Any diet or health regimen.
  4. Any program / tool for spiritual advancement.
  5. Any activity whose aim are tighter abdominal.
  6. Any course or program designed to overcome an unworthy habit.
  7. Any education
  8. The decision to change for the better
  9. The aim to help others
  10. Any act that entails commitment to the heart: Pets, relationship(s), parenting.

Get the picture? A simple diagram I made up might clear things up:

resistance

Your potentials lies beyond resistance. I’ll lay out the symptoms in which you can recognize resistance at play.

RESISTANCE: 1. is negative 2.aims to kill 3. is impersonal 4. is a repelling force 5. invisible 5 drama-queen 6.  loves life troubles 7. the devils lawyer on your shoulder 8. victimizes 9. it’s aggressive 10. it’s FUELED BY FEAR 11. always points NORTH (Meaning: face it head on!) 12. never sleeps 13. can’t be reasoned with 14. procrastinates 15. it’s universal: we are not alone dealing with resistance. 16. recruits allies: your closed friends/family/lover dislikes your new behavior and fight against it.

How does it feel?

FEELS LIKE HELL! The stages of resistance are as followed:

  1. bored, unhappy, no satisfaction, restless, unloved or unloving, feeling guilty of not knowing what to do.
  2. web surfing, over-eating, gaming, watching tv all day, masturbating, gossiping, texting.
  3. depression, aggression, dysfunction, victimized.

Resistance is FUELED BY FEAR and always POINTS NORTH like a compass. 

“The more scared we are  The more certain we can be that WE HAVE TO DO IT!

(For example: approaching a hot girl/guy for a normal chatter. Or skydiving. Or telling that “special” person that you love him/her. etc.) Steven Pressfield said his life can be devided in two parts: before and after turning pro.

Resistance’s remedy: 

TURN PRO!

Not a professional as a doctor or a carpenter. A professional as an ideal. An ideal that DESPISES RESISTANCE. An amateur plays for fun, a pro plays for keeps. An amateur is a weekend warrior, a pro commits full-time on the case. An amateur makes excuses, a pro doesn’t take shít personal. The pro loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. Resistance hates it when we turn pro. A pro doesn’t think about it too much, cause that would lead to procrastinating into thinking not to procrastinate 😛

Lance Armstrong had cancer and won the Tour de France three years and counting. An amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The pro knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there isn’t such a thing called a fearless warrior. Henry Fonda puked into the toilet in his dressing room before getting on stage. He is still terrified but he forces himself forward in spite of his terror. He knows that once he gets out into the action, his fear will recede and he’ll be okay.

————————————————————

What will you do: Wait with future regrets on a life that never happens or THROW UP and ACT?

Be miserable, love it! A pro will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt and humiliation = external reflections of internal resistance.

The pro’s aim: Take what the day throws at him/her. He/she is prepared! (for example: packing your schoolbag the night before you sleep cuts unnecessary stress whenever you need to hurry. If that happens to be a habit of yours :P)

The pro’s goal: Handle himself/herself, his/her insides, as sturdily and steadily as he/she can.

Don’t wait! Or resistance gets the best of you already. Turn pro this instant!

Cheerios,

Stephan

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