There are just a handful of books that I can say have dramatically changed my life for the better. War of Art by Steven Pressfield sits way high on that list. It is an outstanding book, crafted to help you may hear your life’s purpose like never before and then soar away to living it.
All of us have whining nagging voice in our heads. You know that voice, it’s the one that says,
“Oh it’s so early, you’ve had a late night, get some rest you can always exercise later.”
“You? Start a business and take all that risk…c’mon you’ve got a family, don’t be foolish.”
“Want to be more spiritual? It’s such a noble goal but oh, the sacrifice, why don’t you wait till tomorrow…”
That’s not the voice in your head, but the voice of a real being, a living, breathing lifeform who’s sole purpose is to get you from achieving your life purpose. It is the voice of Resistance.
What is Resistance?
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who doesn’t start a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.
Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.
Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, fasify; seduce, bully cajole. It will assume any form, if that ‘s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stuckup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is truned. If tyou take Rsistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.
If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, of it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius.
Steven Pressfield has recognised Resistance for what it is and described it so starkly, it’s as if he’s stripped the devil himself of all his hides and exposed the blood-thirsty rasping wolf that lay beneath.
So, once you’ve recognised Resistance, how do you get the better of it?
How do you stay strong and don’t get allured by it’s seductive sounds. The solution is really quite simple. Infact we’re acting out every single day at our jobs. It’s simply by becoming a pro, i.e. a professional at what we wish to do. And That’s what the second part of the book is dedicated to. What does it mean to turn pro?
Pro means treating our ambition, just the way we treat our jobs. How do we treat our jobs?
– We show up every day. We might do it only because we have to, to keep from getting fired. But we do it. We show up every day.
– We show up no matter what. In sickness and in health, come hell or high water, we stagger in to the factory. We might do it only so as not to let down our co-workers, or for other, less noble reasons. But we do it. We show up no matter what.
– We stay on the job all day. Our minds may wander, but our bodies remain at the wheel. We pick up the phone when it rings, we assist the customer when he seeks our help. We don’t go home till the whistle blows.
– We receive praise or blame in the real world…
This book is a must for everyone’s and anyone’s library. It’s quite short and not too wordy. I’ve picked it up several times and gives me a kick where I need it and when I need it most. And incase the book is difficult to get, the audio book is available for purchase here. It’s read out by Steven Pressfield himself, and in my view packs more of a punch than the book itself.