The War of Art by Steven Pressfield


I picked up (more like one click purchased on my eReader) Steven Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles’ after seeing some references in it from his book I had read ‘Turning Pro’ that I enjoyed.  I had seen this book referenced in a few sites I follow from other creative types and thought it was high time to read it because I was lacking in motivation (Resistance as you’ll come to learn in this book)on a writing project and wanted a pickup in my emotional struggle. This book isn’t just for writers or creative types, it’s for anyone looking for self improvement if they are not happy where they are in any situation; career, relationship, personal projects, health improvements etc…

I found that I wasn’t charging through the book, it was to me like a fine wine, I was savoring it.  Thinking about the words on the page and their meaning to me with each click (page turn).  It isn’t a large book, you can easily read this in an afternoon.  Ever hear the phrase, everything happens for a reason?  I’m a firm believer, because low and behold while searching the TV guide function I came across Super Soul Sunday with Steven Pressfield talking about his book with Oprah Winfrey, I wasn’t going to miss this, the record button was set.  Talk about the stars aligning – I was going to watch a discussion on this amazing book that I had just finished and was fresh in my head but apparently aired close to 9 months prior, oh the luck.

The first few lines of the book had me; “Most of us have two lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands Resistance.”  Basically Steven labels what Resistance is and then how to combat it and move beyond it.  Below is a 3 minute clip from Steven’s interview with Oprah that I watched, you’ll relate to Resistance, I dare you otherwise.

The 6 Things We Resist Most in Life

I ended up ordering my paper copy of the book as well.  I wanted a physical copy in my office, to refer to it as I need or possibly pass onto a friend who could use it (I tend to do that).  This book isn’t going to tell you a personal how to, but does give you some principal tools how to move yourself forward.  Each persons path will be their own, and it should be.  Individuals paths are to be unique, to be contrived as a one size fits all garment is ridiculous.   I learned about myself, how fearful I am of failure and letting others down that I paralyzed myself with no actions.   When I dissected it in my ‘Ah ha’ moment I realized my assumptions of fear where unwarranted.  It never came from a tangible place, it was that voice, that inner critic, that Resistance.  I’m realizing my triggers in order to face them and break through.

Below are some of my favorite quotes of the book.  There are several mind you and hard to narrow down, just a few quotes to sample here in my blog, however, this will give you further insight to this book beyond the interview link above.

“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” ― Steven Pressfield

“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.” ― Steven Pressfield

“The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference” ― Steven Pressfield

I hope this blog post excites you to read this book.  If nothing else to think about the resistance in your life that needs addressing.  Have you already read this book? If so, how did you feel about it, was it helpful to you?  Comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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