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THE WAR OF ART - By Steven Pressfield

Book One

  • Theres a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: Its not the writing part thats hard. Whats hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

  • Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet.

  • Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance?

  • The enemy is a very good teacher. -Dalai Lama


  • invisible

  • internal

  • insidious

  • Implacable

  • Impersonal - it is a force of nature

  • Infallible

    • 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.

  • Universal

  • Never sleeps

  • Plays for keeps

  • Fueled by fear

  • Only opposes in one direction

  • Most powerful at the finish line

  • Recruits Allies

    • Resistance by definition is self- sabotage

    • sabotage by others

    • The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.

  • Procrastination

  • Sex

  • Trouble - cheap way to get attention

  • Self-Dramatization

  • Self-medication

  • Victimhood

  • The Choice of a Mate

  • Unhappiness

  • Fundamentalism

    • The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery.

    • While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.

  • Criticism

  • Self-Doubt

    • The counterfeit innovator is widely self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

  • Fear

  • Love

  • Being A Star

  • Isolation

  • Healing

  • Support

  • Rationalization

  • Can be beaten

Book Two

Combatting Resistance - Turning Pro

  • The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps.

  • Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. "Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp."

  • I'm keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what's important first.

  • So you're taking a few blows. Thats the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines. Stop complaining and be grateful."

  • For love of the game - play for money

  • To the gods the supreme sin is not rape or murder, but pride.

A Professional

  • Patient

  • Seeks Order

  • Demystifies

    • The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods.

  • Acts in the face of fear

  • Accepts no excuses

  • Plays it as it lays

  • Prepared

    • to confront his own self-sabotage.

  • Does not show off

  • Dedicates himself to mastering technique

  • Does not hesitate to ask for help

  • Distances herself from her instrument

    • Madonna does not identify with "Madonna." Madonna employs Madonna."

  • Does not take failure (or success) personally

    • Fear of rejection isn't just psychological; it's biological. It's in our cells.

  • Endures adversity

  • Self-validates

  • Recognizes her limitations

  • Reinvents himself

  • Is recognized by other professionals

You, INC.

  • Monday meetings with yourself - type to up and distribute it to yourself

  • Im not me anymore, I'm Me, Inc.

Book Three

Beyond Resistance - The Higher Realm

  • the most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.

  • You're supposed to lean that things that you think are nothing, as weightless as air, are actually powerful substantial forces, as real and as solid as earth.

  • Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we out to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

  • The artist must operate territorially. He must do his work for it's own sake.

  • The definition of a hack

    • When the hack sits down to work, he doesn't ask himself whats in his own heart. He asks what the market is looking for. - scared of being authentic.

The Territorial Orientation

  • A territory provides sustenance.

  • A territory sustains us without any external input.

  • A territory can only be claimed alone

  • A territory can only be claimed by work

    • A territory doesn't give, it gives back.

  • A territory returns exactly what you put in

The Difference Between Territory And Hierarchy

  • Of any activity you do, as yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?

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