The War of Art
By Steven Pressfield
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
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
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
“I see far too many people in America chasing after a college diploma simply because it is expected of them. In this country, it is viewed as a minimum requirement everyone should have. In my mind, it is wrong to think that is all you need to succeed. There are too many lost souls out there with college degrees, not knowing where to go next. Many young people today are getting a promise in the beginning that you need to have a college degree, and then no one is sure what to do with it. This degree may serve as a valuable foundation of knowledge, but it is much more important to understand your talents and interests.” ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
“Your waking adult life is going to be spent in what you do professionally, so you’d better like the journey and not just aim for the destination.” ~ Darren Hardy
“Taking chances on opportunities, even if they aren’t right for you, gives you a clearer picture of where you want to go with your life and career.” ~ Lauren Bush Lauren
“We must look deeply into the nature of our volition to see whether it is pushing us in the direction of liberation from suffering and toward peace and compassion, or in the direction of affliction and misery. What is it that we really want deep in our heart? Is it money, fame, power? Or is it finding inner peace, being able to live life fully and enjoy the present moment?” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor
“You have been hypnotized or conditioned by an educational processing-system arranged in grades or steps, supposedly leading to some ultimate Success. First nursery school or kindergarten, then the grades or forms of elementary school, preparing you for the great moment of secondary school! But then more steps, up and up to the coveted goal of the university. Here, if you are clever, you can stay on indefinitely by getting into graduate school and becoming a permanent student. Otherwise, you are headed step by step for the great Outside World of family-raising, business, and profession. Yet graduation day is a very temporary fulfillment, for with your first sales-promotion meeting you are back in the same old system, being urged to make that quota (and if you do, they’ll give you a higher quota) and so progress up the ladder to sales manager, vice-president, and, at last, president of your own show (about forty or forty-five years old). In the meantime, the insurance and investment people have been interesting you in plans for Retirement – that really the ultimate goal of being able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all your labors. but when that day comes, your anxieties and exertions will have left you with a weak heart, false teeth, prostate trouble, sexual impotence, fuzzy eyesight, and a vile digestion.” ~ Alan Watts, The Book
“Finding your creative genius is easy: do the work, finish something, get feedback, find ways to improve, show up again tomorrow. Repeat for ten years. Or twenty. Or thirty.” ~ James Clear, Blog
“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 purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you brought to other people’s lives that you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.” ~ Harold Kushner
“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