Today is June the first and on the first day of each month we feature a new book on our book of the month episode. In order to be considered for a book of the month the book has to meet a very simple criteria. It has to be impactful enough that it will change your life or your perspective on the world. Whether it does or not is entirely up to you. You might read the book and comment on what a great book it was. But if you don’t internalize the book and make a part of you, you’re missing the point.
The book of the month this month is “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. This book describes in mythical terms the different forms of resistance that prevent you and I and most people from achieving their creative potential. In the book he describes the different forms of resistance that systematically seek to undermine creative work. They include:
- Fear and anxiety
- The inner critic
These ego driven saboteurs prevent you from getting down to the business of fulfilling your calling.
In the war of art Steven Pressfield shows how to get into a flow by being into the present moment and losing yourself into the doing. You can be doing and thinking about the doing at the same time. If you’re thinking about doing, you’re not doing.
The secret isn’t to ignore the fear. You need to dance with the fear.
Steven Pressfield writes.
If you’re overwhelmed with dread, that’s a good sign.
The real artist is always terrified.
The fake artist is wildly self-confident.
Remember, Resistance always comes second. The dream comes first. The more Resistance you’re feeling, the bigger the dream in your heart.
The resistance shows up any time you seek to elevate yourself from a lower state to a higher state. The resistance is described like a force of nature whose aim is to maintain the status quo.
The most common areas where resistance shows up include:
- The launching of any entrepreneurial venture
- Any diet or exercise regimen
- Any program of spiritual advancement
- Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals
- Any course of program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
- Education of any kind
- The undertaking of an enterprise whose aim is to help others
- Any act that entails commitment of the heart such as a decision to get married or have a child.
Steven wrote The War of Art in many ways as his own life story describing the struggles as a writer. In the process, he discovered that the struggle was universal and that’s why the book was the first book that really put him on the map. In the book he writes:
Resistance is a negative force that attempts to prevent us from taking the first step to achieving our dreams. Resistance doesn’t just show up at the beginning. It can show up daily. The battle with resistance is an ongoing one. Even the most successful, talented, acclaimed authors, business leaders, all face resistance. There are some days when I’m producing the podcast where it takes me far longer than part of my mind says it should to come up with the concept for a show.
Overcoming resistance is more important than talent.
A single sheet of paper is enough to outline even the most complex project. The single sheet of paper enables you to cut through the Resistance and concentrate the mind.
It’s one of the most quoted books in recent years. Steven has been interviewed by Oprah, Marie Forleo, Joe Rogan and countless others. If you have been struggling to get something started, or to get something completed, then the War of Art is for you.