The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield focuses on the themes of procrastination and creativity. Whether you are an artist, a writer, or looking to start your own business you will run into what Pressfield calls resistance. Within this book Pressfield teaches the reader how to identify resistance, what forms it can take, how to combat it and how to win your inner creative battles.
“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. It’s aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.” (Steven Pressfield; The War Of Art)
The book is broken down into three section:
Book 1: Resistance Defining the enemy
In this section of the book Pressfield identifies what resistance is and how it can affect every aspect of your life. It can manifest itself as procrastination, fear, depression and more. It’s one goal is to stop you from achieving the very things you want to achieve. Pressfield cleverly explains a way to use resistance to your advantage;
“We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others. Rule of thumb; The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel towards pursuing it”. (Steven Pressfield; The War Of Art)
Book 2: Combating Resistance
In the second part of the book Pressfield explains that in order to combat Resistance you must be consistent, you must learn how to overcome your Resistance and become a ‘Pro’ at beating it. Using patience, preparation, and facing your fears head on, only then will you be able to combat Resistance.
“The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. He commits full-time. Resistance hates it when we turn pro” (Steven Pressfield; The War Of Art).
Book 3: Beyond Resistance
The final part of the book offers an insight into a life where resistance has been conquered. Pressfield discusses topics such as; Invoking The Muse, The Ego And The Self and Life and Death. He describes true creative work is something that is given to you, not that you created yourself. That it is a blessing and something that should be shared with the world.
“Creative work is not a selfish act of a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got” (Steven Pressfield; The War Of Art).
Pressfield’s writing is smart, funny and inspirational. At a mere 165 pages this book is beautiful in its simplicity. It is the type of book that you can leave lying around your house and when you feel that you need some motivation in your life, you can pick it up and read a passage. It will get you back to creating your most creative work.
Written by Luke McCann, Brand Ambassador Intern of RAW Compliance.
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