First Things First: This is my favorite read over the last 365 days, and probably over the last 730 days as well.
With that said, lets start with just what exactly The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is about.
To sum it all up, its an amazing artistically written personal development book about conquering the resistance in your life that stops you from “going pro” and reaching your highest potential in life.
Pressfield labels “The Resistance” as an enemy of artists everywhere (and we are all artists), while he goes into highly descriptive accounts of just how easy it is to fooled by this malicious foe. He personifies the resistance in The War of Art, and makes resistance something that you can almost visualize as an evil dooer, sneaking up on you and trying to make you slip on a banana peel.
Yes, the resistance is trying to ruin your life by making you slip on a banana peel. Don’t be fooled, Pressfield would say, the resistance is cunning enough to make you think that NOT doing what you want to do is actually the best thing for you!
I’ve read this book probably three times now and continue to pick it up and read passages from it every week.
The format of the book is one of my favorites, in that each section is only 1-3 pages long, so it is quite possible to get through this book reading a few sections at a time and still retain the main points from each section without getting cut off.
When people ask me what book they should read out of any one book, I have continuing mentioned this book, as you can tell by my Recommended Reading list (its at the top). This puts it right up there with my other personal favorites like Power vs Force, Man’s Search For Meaning, The Obstacle Is The Way, and The Dark Side of The Light Chasers, but The War of Art holds a special place in my heart for breaking through my intellectual mind and making me realize that I, too, am an artist.
We all art artists. Whether we want to believe it or not. The only thing that has been stopping you from realizing it is the foe that Pressfield describes so well in his book, The Resistance. Remember when you were a kid and you loved painting? or you liked drawing? or even singing and music? I know I did. I loved painting and drawing things. I loved singing too. Well, what happened?
The Resistance happened. The messages from our culture, from your friends, from your parents telling you that you wouldn’t succeed at doing the things that you once loved, or that you could never make any money doing it. These messages are now embedded in your mind, as if they are your own voice.
Pressfield’s main message in The War of Art is that you must realize and call out the Resistance’s Voice for what it is, and seperate it from your own.
This practice, since reading the book, has changed my life in so many ways and I still use it daily.
Try This: Catch yourself making excuses for something. When you see yourself doing it, stop in your tracks and say “….The Resistance”. Sounds freaking ridiculous, I know, but many a time I have done that after reading Pressfield’s book and I actually went forward and did the things I was trying to avoid.
So if you haven’t bought and read this book yet, do it now and let me know about your experiences in the comments section below this post.
Recommended Books For Conquering The Resistance:
-Anthony from AuthenicGrowth.com