“[Ludwig van] Beethoven came to see that complete surrender to his situation in life – to his deafness, to his various neuroses – was absolutely essential for his own spiritual development and for the development of his art. He accepted the apparent mystery that his art and his suffering were inextricably linked.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.” ~ Annie Dillard, American Writer
“At the end of life, most of us will find that we have felt most filled up by the challenges and successful struggles for mastery, creativity, and full expression of our dharma in the world. Fulfillment happens not in retreat from the world, but in advance – and profound engagement.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing – it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
“‘I’m not very creative’ doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
“When we share what we were brought here to give, we are in alignment with our highest, most powerful selves.” ~ Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass
“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes; work never begun.” ~ Christina Rossetti
“The amateur has a long list of fears. Near the top are two: Solitude and silence. The amateur fears solitude and silence because she needs to avoid, at all costs, the voice inside her head that would point her toward her calling and her destiny. So she seeks distraction. The amateur prizes shallowness and shuns depth. The culture of Twitter and Facebook is paradise for the amateur.” ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
Book Overview: What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: The Five Areas of My Life That I Block Out Time For So That I May Perform At My Best. /// How Being Faced with Death Changes our Priorities in Life. /// The Artist’s Life
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it.
It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or 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.
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Source: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
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“We can’t be anything we want to be. We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it. Our job in this lifetime 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. If we were born to pain, it’s our job to become a painter. If we were born to raise and nurture children, it’s our job to become a mother. If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business.” ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
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The following is an excerpt from Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art.
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Remember the movie Billy Jack starring Tom Laughlin? The film and its sequels have long since decamped to cable, but Tom Laughlin is still very much around. In addition to his movie work, he’s a lecturer and author and a Jungian-schooled psychologist whose specialty is working with people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Tom Laughlin teaches and leads workshops; here’s a paraphrase of something I heard him say:
The moment a person learns he’s got terminal cancer, a profound shift takes place in his psyche. At one stroke in the doctor’s office he becomes aware of what really matters to him. Things that sixty seconds earlier had seemed all-important suddenly appear meaningless, while people and concerns that he had till then dismissed at once take on supreme importance. Continue reading