Read: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This is a review of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.

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.

War of ArtAfter 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.

 

How many did you tick off?

How was your Christmas?  Good New Year?  I think I have a THOUSAND emails! I’ve almost forgotten how to do my job? Any New Years Resolutions? I *hate* January!

You can play bingo with the usual small talk about the beginning of the year, but now it’s time to move past that part of the script.

So, make today the last day for your Christmas and New Year small talk and get into the mindset to smash 2017.

Is this the year?

For levelling up?  It’s your choice.

You can upgrade skills, shift role, move company or change career – but if you don’t take the first step, you won’t make the next step.

In the competitive business world, standing still is not really an option. We all need to grow our skills, get educated and learn new competencies before the next person does and drinks your milkshake.

There are plenty of opportunities out there, but no-one will lead you to them. YOU will need to take the next step.  This isn’t about New Year resolutions or buying a self-help book to leave on the reading pile to gather dust, this is about choosing and executing an investment in yourself.

So, is this your year?

Time to make it happen. 

Ready, Set…

Advent, Christmas, Twixmas, New Year, Hangover, Resolutions. 

It’s all done now, finished for another year. Depending on where you are, today is a last free day before heading back to work after a break, or at least some quiet time. 

So today is a time to be ready, pencil sharpened, tools ready, inbox organised and notebook fresh for another year of success. 

Let’s BLAST into 2017.