The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

The War of Art favorite quote

How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to do? – Page 3

Lessons learned from The War of Art

1. The hardest part is the doing.

It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. – Page 1

In this book, the author refers to the tension between wanting to do something and actually doing something as resistance. Resistance is that thing that keeps us from doing something. It is where all our excuses live.

I know I struggle with Resistance every day. I have so many intentions and dreams and yet each day passes and I haven’t done anything toward accomplishing them. Pressfield further clarifies it as choosing immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Resistance is that thing that keeps you from becoming who you are supposed to be.

The hardest step is the first step is the common saying but it couldn’t be more true. The first half of this book is really just focused on motivating us to do it. It is challenging us to stop dealing with Resistance and challenges to overcome it.

2. Self-discipline is the greatest investment you can make.

The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them. – Page 37

The greatest single investment you can make is an investment in your self-discipline. If you can only focus on one thing this is the thing to focus on. The ability to not be mastered by anything is invaluable.

If we haven’t learned the art of self-discipline that means something else in our life or someone else in our life is calling the shots. We don’t know what true freedom feels like because we are governed by something else. Self-discipline is the essential foundation to build everything else.

It honestly doesn’t matter how much knowledge you accumulate, or how much energy you put out if you haven’t learned self-discipline it will all be wasted. Self-discipline is that foundation that if you skip all the walls come tumbling down. Begin working on your self-discipline right now.

3. Find out who you are and become it.

We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it. Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be but to find out who we already are and become it. – Page 146

The entire premise of Cave Leadership Development Center is built upon this thought process. We believe that you were created uniquely with a destiny, an assignment. We want to come alongside people and help them find what that destiny is and assist them in fulfilling it. We believe people sell themselves way too short.

Another great book to read!

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The aim of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert

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