Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dustin the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditationpractice? Have you ever bailed out on a call to embark upon aspiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling,commit your life to the service of others? Have you everwanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak andhelpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign forworld peace, or to preserve the environment? Late at nighthave you experienced a vision of the person you mightbecome, the work you could accomplish, the realized beingyou were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, apainter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts aventure? Then you know what Resistance is.
Dear Procrastinator who may or may not be reading this right now. I totally understand if you save this post to “read later” for another day. Much earlier this year, I asked for book recommendations and this book was recommended to me by a friend. Yet it’s almost December now and I’m finally writing my thoughts about it. Have you ever picked up a book and it’s exactly what you needed to read within the first chapter? The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a must read for those struggling with pushing through projects. Being a creative person, I get inspired on the daily through so many senses. Sometimes it feels like I have fifty different ideas going on my mind and then I end up executing maybe just one on a good day. Sometimes, I go on a brief hiatus and let my camera pick up dust or write pages full of reflections yet I never post them. Being a mom to a wild toddler who loves to explore, I secretly used that as an excuse to keep me from taking action on any of my own personal projects. However, I decided to take a few hours to myself to read this book and below are a few excerpts from this great read.
The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities that most commonly elicit Resistance:
♦ The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting,music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
♦ The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
♦ Any diet or health regimen.
♦ Any program of spiritual advancement.
♦ Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.
♦ Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
♦ Education of every kind.
♦ Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.
♦ The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
♦ Any act that entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
♦ The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.
In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.
Any of these will elicit Resistance.
RESISTANCE AND SELF-DOUBTThe counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident.
The real one is scared to death.
RESISTANCE AND BEING A STARGrandiose fantasies are a symptom of Resistance. They’re thesign of an amateur. The professional has learned that success,like happiness, comes as a by-product of work.
PATIENCEThe professional steels himself at the start of a project,reminding himself it is the Iditarod, not the sixty-yard dash.He conserves his energy. He prepares his mind for the longhaul. He sustains himself with the knowledge that if he canjust keep those huskies mushing, sooner or later the sled willpull in to Nome.
A PROFESSIONAL DEMYSTIFIESThe sign of the amateur is overglorification of and preoccupation with the mystery.The professional shuts up. She doesn’t talk about it.She does her work.
EXPERIENCING THE SELFHave you ever wondered why the slang terms for intoxication are so demolition-oriented?
Stoned, smashed, hammered. It’s because they’re talking about the Ego.
It’s the Ego that gets blasted, waxed, plastered.
We demolish the Ego to get to the Self.
This simply written yet powerful piece, is a must add to your book collection.
If you have already read this book or take the chance to read it,
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.