I’ll be honest, this has been sitting in my reading pile for months now. I saw it referenced in an article by Tim Ferris when he was talking about ‘Tribe of Mentors’. I thought it sounded interesting and bought it on impulse. When it arrived, I thought it looked a little ‘light’ on practicalities for me and held back.
After a couple of focused business books recently, I decided to give this a try this weekend – and finished it in two sittings. It is a beautifully precise book, with an economy of language – but it is also engrossing and enjoyable.
The War of Art describes the internal obstacles that inhibit success, collecting them together in a tangible, palpable collective which Pressfield describes as ‘resistance’. It’s an unseen, malevolent force that blocks so many people from achieving their true potential.
By identifying ‘resistance’, the author also helps shape the attitude and form that the reader needs to adopt, in order to go to battle. By assuming the position of a ‘professional’, he sets you up for the fight.
Fortunately, the professional is not alone in this war with resistance, in the third part of the book we read about the supportive forces we can summon to overcome our adversary.
The book is written as a set of ideas, short paragraphs or vignettes that give an incredible insight into the human psyche. At turns, the book is practical and helpful and then turns more romantic – summoning muses and angels to help the struggling reader.
The War of Art doesn’t just apply to artists and creators, but to anyone who feels resistance to anything. Resistance to moving on from the past, resistance to healing issues, resistance to moving onwards and upwards in any field. By defining the challenge and providing inspiration for the battle this book offers an eye=opening approach to the next steps.
I highly recommend The War of Art to anyone who is looking for insight into human psychology and motivation.