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The War of Art
Read in 17 min.
Listen in 21 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art

How to overcome Resistance and creative blocks

The War of Art is a book dedicated to all of the writers who do not write, to the painters who do not paint, and to the entrepreneurs who haven’t started a business. Steven Pressfield seeks to remind everybody who feels that they have a creative streak, a good idea, or a script to finish, but still haven't got around to working on it, that it does not come down to talent - or even, a lack thereof: we all have a purpose for which we came into the world, and, in order to fulfill this purpose, we must undergo the bloodiest, most arduous, and longest battle we will ever face, to then come out victorious. This battle is fought against the Resistance: an invisible and self-generated force, which can take many forms, such as that of self-sabotage, procrastination, and victimisation. The key to staying on the right path is learning to thwart the various guises that the Resistance assumes, and to start thinking as a professional, which will put you in a position whereby you will be able to hear the voice of the Muses, and fulfill your purpose in all its power and beauty.

The War of Art
Read in 17 min.
Listen in 21 min.

You must see the creative battle through to the end

It is widely believed that an artist’s work is the fruit of their talent. Those who are unable to embark on a creative path - to complete a painting or a sculpture, write a book, or compose music - are deprived of it. However, this is not entirely true: the difference between a person who has heeded their calling in life and indulged their vocation, completing  one or more artistic endeavours, and those who have failed in their pursuits (or have never even started), lies in the fact that the former was able to overcome the Resistance, whilst the latter did not. One of them returned to their desk, or their easel, day after day, and put a full-stop at the end of the last chapter, or applied the last brushstroke to their canvas.

Irrespective of the form it takes, every creative battle is difficult, and the outcome remains unknown until it is over. During this battle, we measure ourselves against the most powerful and destructive force that we will ever know: the Resistance. This is why you must learn to recognise it and understand how it operates: it is only by doing so, that you will be able to continue your journey and reach your goal, whether it be writing the script you have been thinking about for some time, starting yoga, or volunteering at an association. The Resistance, in fact, goes against everything that elevates the spirit, improves physical form, and that contributes to you fulfilling the purpose for which you were put on this earth. It is something that we experience every time we undertake something physically, morally, and intellectually demanding. 


The key ideas of "The War of Art"

You must see the creative battle through to the end
What is the Resistance and why is it so difficult to overcome this toxic force?
How does the Resistance work and who are its allies: what should we fight against?
Procrastination, victimisation, and alcohol abuse as symptoms of Resistance
Fear is our ally and shows us the way forward
Amateurs and professionals: why approach is so important when it comes to achieving a goal
A professional’s characteristics are the means by which they face, and win, the battle
The fine line between a professional and amateur when it comes to their perception of the real world
The professional’s passion, patience, and order bring them closer to their goal
Genes, angels, and muses: who are our allies in fighting the Resistance?
Start working and move towards your goal with the favour of the Muses
Failure to fulfill our purpose has negative physical consequences
Breaking down the Ego to reach the authentic Self
Take-home message
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