TOP 5 LESSONS FROM “THE WAR OF ART” BY STEVEN PRESSFIELD
1. EMBRACE FEAR
Resistance is fueled by fear. Learn to use fear as a sign of which way to go. The greater your fear is, the grater something means to you. Greater something means to you = greater change you will have by achieving goal = to evolve must conquer fear. In this way resistance acts as true north. Seth Godin says “The riskiest thing we can do in life is to be safe” and “If it scares you it might be a good idea to try”.
2. BURNOUTS & PROCRASTINATION
BURNOUTS: Resistance knows that we tend to overestimate what we can do in a month, and under estimate what we can do in a year. It gets us to plunge into creative work with overambitious expectations. Resistance uses our own enthusiasm against us – hoping that we quit when things get hard.
PROCRASTINATION: This is resistance’s oldest trick in the book. We don’t say we’re never going to write the screenplay, we just say we’re going to do it tomorrow.
3. CRITICISM & JEALOUSY
Resistance get’s us to view others success as “lucky”. Rule of thumb: the more critical we are of others, the less you we are working towards our calling. Successful people don’t have time to worry about what others are doing. They’re too busy doing what makes them successful.
4. AMATEUR VS. PROFESSIONAL
We must treat creative work like professionals, not amateurs. Professionals: show up everyday, show up no matter what, stay on the job, commit over the long haul, master the technique of job, accept compensation for labour, don’t over identify with jobs, ask for help when needed, don’t get overly cocky, have a sense of humor about jobs.
5. GIVE YOUR GIFTS
“It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.” … Creative work is not a selfish act of bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” (pg. 165)