Peaceful Mind, Fighting Spirit

As I’m reading the war of art, I find myself nodding to many of the author’s simplistic, concise and direct pages. He speaks directly to the reader, wastes no time dancing and prancing about with flowery language, and as such, he is already a man I respect dearly.

Everything I’ve read thus far could’ve been summarized even shorter as “quit bullshitting yourself and get to work”, but even Mr. Pressfield would have thought that short. Additionally, I don’t know if the book would sound better in French, however good a piece of advice that summary may be.

I disagree with one chief thing, as much as I like the novel. I disagree that we must always fight a piece of ourselves. Steven Pressfield has a wonderful message against overcoming resistance, and I resonate with many of the things he says, yet his focus on fighting— specifically fighting ourselves, is something I am hesitant at best and reproachful at worst from embracing.

I see that we cannot lie to ourselves, or try and convince ourselves away from our goals. We cannot hope to overcome anything which we cannot face, and that we should not delay from agendas, dreams and self-prescribed duties. However, if I ever believed that in each and every moment I had to fight myself in order to get anywhere with my projects and pursuits, I would never get out of bed.

We often create our own enemies, build them up in our heads, and loosely drawing from The War of Art, we make resistance compelling, through fear, anger, procrastination and a whole host of other demons. Yet, I repulse the idea that we must always fight ourselves in our endeavors and that our work to overcome resistance must be an uphill and unenjoyable battle.

The manner in which you approach life, will often be the manner life approaches you, and there is no difference between your interpretation of life and your life. To approach the world as though resistance and stagnation sit behind every corner, and there near lurks an evil creature or force to stop you will breed paranoia, exhaustion, and reluctance. The idea that you must not be unified with yourself is an exhausting one, and the idea that you must always be at war with your being surpasses exhaustion and enters the realm of self-destruction.

 

Until next time,

Cade

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