The war of art is a book that helps you tackle what Steven calls “resistance”.
Resistance is defined as ”that destructive force inside human nature that rises whenever we consider a tough, long-term course of action that might do for us or others something that’s actually good.”
I felt resistance when I sat down to write this article. Before I went to the gym. When I sat down to read. Basically, anything that’s tough, is a breeding ground for resistance.
In the war of art steven first brings your awareness to this life-destroying force. This is the most important part, then he shows us how we can better deal with it throughout our daily lives.
Here are my top takeaways from the war of art.
1. “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. “
Most amiable goals are the result of a shit load of hard work. Getting a strong and healthy physique would dramatically improve your life. But many people will settle for less.
Resistance stands in the way.
You might want to start reading more to improve your knowledge but when you sit down to read, you can’t stomach reading.
Resistance stands in the way.
The two previous examples would improve anyone’s life physically and intellectually. But they both take work. Physically, lifting weights. And intellectually, understanding different words and systems and applying them to our lives.
Resistance is the obstacle to you manifesting the unlived life within you.
The life of meaning, achievement, success, and realizing your best self.
2. ” Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it. “
The more you put off going to the gym the more you should go, the more you put off reading, the more you should read, the more you don’t want to write the article, the more you should write it.
You get the point.
Humans are wired to take the path of least resistance. So when it comes to doing the hard things that could improve our lives we have an inherent dislike for the work.
The trick is to do the hard thing/ things anyway in spite of resistance.
3. “The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day. “
No matter how much previous success you’ve achieved or how much you will, resistance will always be felt. You never slay resistance. It’s always an ongoing battle.
All that matters is that you beat resistance today. If you do that you can beat resistance tomorrow.
4. “Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. “
If we don’t have integrity and don’t follow through on the hard things we say we’re going to do. This creates guilt, stress, and anxiety which makes the successful completion of your goals and ambitions take longer.
This, in turn, creates more resistance and this in the long run can thwart the achievement of your goals.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Whatever you do, don’t let resistance win.
5. “Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying”.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”Theodore Roosevelt
There will always be things you can and can’t control in life, the key is to focus on what you can control. Because focusing on what you can’t control is a waste of mental energy.
When it comes to hard work, we’re always in control of how hard we try, and what we’re trying to achieve.
All that matters is that the person who wants to get fit is consistently working out, The writer is writing and the salesman is doing his best to make sales etc. If you devote your 100% attention to the task at hand and try your best, you can’t be upset if the result is subpar. Because you’ve tried your best.
If you can forget about whatever your goal may be, and just focus on the trying then the goal will take care of itself.
Other Quotes From The War Of Art By Steven Pressfield
A territory can only be claimed by work. When Arnold Schwarzenegger hits the gym, he’s on his own turf. But what made it his own are the hours and years of sweat he put in to claim it. A territory doesn’t give, it gives back. A territory returns exactly what you put in. Territories are fair. Every erg of energy you put in goes infallibly into your account. A territory never devalues. A territory never crashes. What you deposited, you get back, dollar-for-dollar. What’s your territory?Steven Pressfield
The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.Steven Pressfield
The professional cannot allow the actions of others to define his reality.Steven Pressfield
Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.Steven Pressfield
We know what the clan is; we know how to fit into the band and the tribe. What we don’t know is how to be alone. We don’t know how to be free individuals.Steven Pressfield
Summary Of Why You Should Read The War Of Art By Steven Pressfield
- If you can beat resistamce today you’re taking one step towards your unlived life.
- The unlived life within us is the books we might write, the enterprises we might initiate, the realized self we might become.
- Resistance is one of the root causes of unhappines.
If you want to beat resistance/ procrastination then this book is a must-read. Everyone struggles with resistance, no matter how successful you are.