• Tate Anagnos

My Take-Aways from The War of Art - Part 2

Steven Pressfield continues to define Resistance, the force that keeps us from growth, and what it disguises itself as.

Page 40 - He keeps reiterating this force is felt most when we are chasing something that is most important to self-development. Resistance does this by fear of rejection and failure. Everybody overcomes a certain degree of failure at some point. But success is defined by multiple failures of a high degree.

Page 46 - Normality teaches us that being alone means we have to be lonely. The example is a writer keeping company with his characters. Anyone can do the same thing with their thoughts. It is not weird or introverted. Exploring your own stream of consciousness, not around other people, is one of the most immersive and beneficial things you can do for self-improvement.

Page 64 - Amateurs create when they feel inspiration. Professionals train their brain to create on schedule. Morning's, evening's, during breaks; cut out a time and produce during that time every single day, religiously. Within a week, when that time rolls around, your brain will be expecting it.

Page 68 - Relating the conditions of Marine Corps training to what an artist has to go through. In order for recruits to become Marines, they have to endure a certain amount of being miserable. In order for an artist to create something worthy of "art" status, they have to endure a large amount of rejection, self-doubt, despair etc. We all have it in us to achieve a monumental task, it's just a matter of resilience.

Pressfield mentions this again on page 74. When we have a passion, we slug it out day after day for that passion.

Page 90 - "It's better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands." My interpretation: it's better to publicly humiliate yourself for a good cause, rather than comfortably not growing at all. Someone who is truly serious about improving is only held back by themselves.

Page 94 - A real professional is realistic. They know that people depend on people. There are certain things we cannot do alone. The professional is never afraid, or too prideful, to ask for help.

There are golden nuggets scattered across this book. Some do not apply to me but I am determined to find the ones that do.

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