The War of Art
By Steven Pressfield
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: Quotes /// 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
Book Overview: A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.
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. Continue reading
“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
“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.” ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
“Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years becuase you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are. Expressing what you are is taking action.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
“Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward. Most people do the exact opposite: They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
If tomorrow starts without me, and I’m not here to see,
If the sun should rise you find your eyes all filled with tears for me
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you
And each time that you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said my place was ready, in heaven far above
And that I’d have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned and walked away a tear fell from my eye.
For all my life I’d always thought, I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for, so much left yet to do.
It seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad.
I thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
When I thought of worldly things I might miss come tomorrow
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
When I walked through heavens gates I felt so much at home.
God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne
He said, “This is eternity and all I’ve promised you”
Today your life on earth has passed but here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last
And since each day is the same there’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful so trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things you knew you shouldn’t do.
You have been forgiven and now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts with out me don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart.
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Watch ‘If Tomorrow Starts Without Me…’ on Vimeo
The following short story was derived from Alan Watt’s Book, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. We have also included his prelude and postlude thoughts for context.
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“Myth is the form in which I try to answer when children ask me those fundamental metaphysical questions which come so readily to their minds: ‘Where did the world come from?’ ‘Why did God make the world?’ ‘Where was I before I was born?’ ‘Where do people go when they die?’ Again and again I have found that they seem to be satisfied with a simple and very ancient story, which goes something like this:” Continue reading
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~ Maya Angelou
“The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not ‘to have and to hold’ but ‘to give and to serve.’ There can be no other meaning.” ~ Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of home and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” ~ Woodrow Wilson
“We don’t seek the painful experiences that hew our identities, but we seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe that it’s purposeful. Ease makes less of an impression on us than struggle. We could have been ourselves without our delights, but not without the misfortunes that drive our search for meaning. ‘Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities,’ St. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians, ‘for when I am weak, then I am strong.'” ~ Andrew Solomon, TED
Given the choice, would you rather save time or money?
Most people focus on dollars. But how you spend your time is much more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can often be corrected, but when you lose time, it’s gone forever.
Your priorities determine how you spend your time, and time is precious. The following statements may help you put time in perspective:
To know the value of one year… Ask the student who failed the final exam.
To know the value of one month… Ask the mother of a premature baby.
To know the value of one week… Ask the editor of a weekly newsmagazine.
To know the value of one day… Ask the wage earner who has six children.
To know the value of one hour… Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To know the value of one minute… Ask the person who missed the plane.
To know the value of one second… Ask the person who survived the accident.
To know the value of one millisecond… Ask the Olympic silver medalist.
Your time is priceless. As Ralph Waldo Emerson advised, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
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Source: Today Matters by John C. Maxwell
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