The War of Art

The War of Art - by Steven Pressfield #

Date Read: 2018-12-14 #

Notes #

Resistance - whatever that is stopping us from doing what we always wanted to do.

  • is internal, affects everybody
  • fueled by fear
  • stops us from becoming better
  • takes the form of any preoccupation, e.g. sex, sugar, shopping, anything that provides immediate gratification
  • anything that draws attention to oneself in a pain free easy way, e.g. causing trouble, causing drama, being angry, being a victim
  • feels like boredom, restlessness, when you hate your life
  • criticizing other people, esp. people who are doing what you always wanted to do
  • seeking support, seeking validation
  • when you are scared to death, is it where you need to push yourself through

Being a Professional

  • success, happiness comes as a by product of work. The Professional focuses on the work
  • showing up everyday 7 days, doing x hours everyday
  • what’s important is the work
  • be prepared to be miserable, isolated, rejected, self-doubt, ridicule, contempt, humiliation
  • doing it for money
  • there is more than money involved
  • patient - playing the long game
  • does in spite of fear
  • no excuses
  • practices technique - is prepared for opportunity
  • does not show off
  • asks for help
  • distances, does not take the success or failure of the work personally
  • self-validates
  • reinvents
  • You Inc. - Professional - the business will deliver. Run status meetings, distribute the work assignments

The Muse

  • accept that there are conditions you don’t control
  • ask for divine help everyday
  • accept that you are just performing a service that (hopefully, eventually) survives a long time
  • record your thoughts while not at work, work on it tomorrow
  • territory vs hierarchy
  • hierarchy - when in school and small environments, it makes sense. We can form cliques, specialize in some club, skill and achieve psychological safety
  • hierarchy - the problem is when there is too many people it becomes too anonymous. You compete with too many peers, evaluate your happiness by your rank, act towards others based on your rank. But you cannot look to others to validate your efforts. You can only do your work for its own sake. You cannot ask the market for what it wants.
  • territory - when in your territory, you feel refreshed after doing your work, a closed feedback loop. In the end you have to do it yourself. You get what you put in.
  • we have a right to our labor but not the fruits of our labor