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.

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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

Memento mori

Hey you lovely people,

Today’s topic is about none other than the end of your time. Death awareness, as the title says. This may seem dark or scary. It’s true that death is the ultimate boogieman people look away from. Often this self realization alone may let a person’s worries instantly go. Fear freezes people, yet the remedy is to look at it and let the fear go.

But talking about death is simply a start. The only 2 worthwhile things in life I think are the moment you were born and the moment you know why you’re here. That means know your life purpose. Without any purpose you’d wander the world drifting away. Day’s fly by automatically.

The reason I came up with this topic was the following: Which death would you prefer: A slow and unforeseen death or a quick one knowing you won’t live for long?

If I put a gun to your head and demand within 5 sec to tell me your life purpose you’d instantly know. This is one beneficial result death awareness offers. It eliminates all the bullsh*t and you’d almost immediately have the answer. A slow and unforeseen death I’d recon is the sum total of days you never fully lived with.

Let this message be a warning shot. I hope ya dig it 😉

Cheerios!

Smile

Fake it if ya want, but never forget to smile once in a while! Look up funny stuff, or read and listen about whatever cracks you up. During tough times a smile can lit up an encouraging flame. Dance, play, make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift.

Comment whatever made you smile. It can be anything! Let’s smile together. It’s contagious 😉

Cheerios,

Stephan

Blog update:

Hey you lovely people,

Nothing serious. From today on I’ll commit myself to post at least once within 2 weeks. In case I slack off too much 😛 I know people like my content one way or the other. I love connecting with people. If my content helps at least one person, my mission is already fulfilled.

I love sharing. It empties my cup, leaving it all out in the open for you guys. Till it’s filled with another telltale story I’d happily share back at ya. Hope you all appreciate it. Comments are welcome. I won’t judge, simply listen. I respect everyone’s opinions. If you feel like it, tell me something about your blog in the comments. I am curious about you guys 🙂

On a sidenote: Post suggestions and questions are welcome!

Cheerios,

Stephan

 

 

Be the best version of yourself everyday

Ask yourself: What would the best version of me be doing now?

Ask it every morning, afternoon and evening. Try it for a few days. It helps maintaining those new year resolutions 😉 We constantly live by habits. Determine for yourself which of these habits needs improvement or to be absolutely replaced by a higher quality habit.

An example: Your alarm goes off. How many minutes will it take for you to get out of bed? What sort of habits do you use to start of any regular day? Do you immediately make coffee or go to the bathroom first?

These are subtle habits, but strongly rooted into your system. Unless something exciting or nerve wreaking happens the other day, you’d probably use the same habits over and over again from start to the end of any day.

For the new year resolutions  guru’s, one might want to lose a few pounds or gain extra muscle. First of all, you know it’s gonna suck. Plus you know as well as any other that in order to get something done, leave the old useless habits behind and be open to live up to new ones.

This is why I strongly recommend trying the 30 day ice cold shower challenge. Simply stay 1 till 3 minutes under bone chilling cold water. You might say: This dude is on crack!

Well, not crack, just an ego slaying warrior. You may call yourself that when you succeed with the challenge. Cause, hardly anybody would do it. It’s so “un”comfortable that you call it crazy. But it’s even crazier not taking action to accomplish the goals that you want! It leaves regret behind, trust me… that is worse!

The cold shower challenge builds a tough habit in you. Stepping inside pouring cold water, with no hesitation requires guts. This kind of guts is a strong motivator for turning you into the best version of yourself, in any situation.

That’s my piece of advice for this new year. Happy 2017!

Cheerios,

Stephan