I’ve recently finished reading The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. I’ve heard plenty of accolades for this book, and it’s really that good.
Who do I recommend it to? Anyone who’s embarked in a creative field, an entrepreneurial venture and for visionaries.
Pressfield’s picture of the Resistance is evil, since it’s the enemy of creativity. A force that will be stronger the more noble and purer the cause in which you embark is. Your fears are your Resistance.
One of the subtitles of Jon Acuff’s new book Start is:
“Punching Fear in the Face.”
Why? Because Acuff says fear is schizophrenic. One moment fear will tell you: you’re too young. The next she will whisper: you’re too old – your time is gone old man.
All the negative that you encounter when you create (fear, doubt, rejection, etc), that’s the Resistance.
But don’t be afraid. Pressfield recommends using the Resistance against it. How?
“Resistance will unfailingly point to true North.”
If you’re stop in your tracks confused about what to do next, the Resistance will directly point to an action that you’re scared the most to do. The Resistance’s job is to fill you in with doubt, to convince you that you can’t do it. That it’s been done and tried. That there’s no money in that field. That you have too much debt. That you’re an inept, how could you compare to people who’ve done that in the past?
Your job is to simply turn back and punch it square in the face. Tell Resistance: I’ve had it, and I don’t care what you think. It is after all your calling.
“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have do it.”
The second takeaway from this book is the author’s definition of the professional.
A professional dedicates to his art -his craft – full time. How do you know you’re a professional writer? You spend your working time writing.
A catch here is thinking that a professional will never make a mistake. No, that’s not really the case, it’s quite the opposite sometimes. Professionals will make more mistakes than others because they dedicate more time to their crafts. Professionals often don’t get it right every time. Not even the most enlightened geniuses can do that.
The professional will get to work. Whether the muse speaks to him or not will depend on this. Professionals don’t expect the best original work to come right away. They must first face resistance, and then the reward comes.
Inspiration finds you working
Professionals are the ones who go back to the grind day in and day out, no matter the outcome of the day before.
So you’re a professional. Regardless of what field you’re in, if you spend most of your time doing one craft, you’re a professional at that.
So let’s do this in the comments. Leave a sentence telling me what you’re a professional at.
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