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The War of Art Summary


After writing various novels and screenplays author Steven Pressfield finally wrote The War of Art the first non-fiction book in 2002.

Simple Short Summary:The book shows the resistance face by athletes, entrepreneur, and writer while pursuing their calling, and explain how to overcome it because resistance limits movement.

Reading Time:4 minutes

The War of Art Summary

Characteristics between beginners and the pro

You are a professional because you work for money. Take the principle from your workday life and apply it to your artist aspiration? Few qualities separate professionals from amateurs.

  1. Professionals show up every day regardless of the weather.
  2. Professionals stay on the job, however, the mind may wander, but the bodies remain on the chair.
  3. Professionals become the master of techniques and get money for work.
  4. Professionals mark attendance even when they feel sick or tired.
  5. Professionals commit over the long haul. They may switch the job next year but still work.
  6. The stakes are high and real, and professionals feed the family and educate their children.

Now consider the amateur painter or the writer. How does he pursue his calling?

  1. He never appears daily.
  2. He fails to commit over the long haul, and the stakes for him are illusory and fake.

The mindset of beginner to deal with fear

The beginner tries to overcome fears to do work, but the professional knows fears never be overcome.

In spite of fear, Professionals loves his work and devote their life. The professional knows too much love is evil because it makes him choke.

Although resistance has no strength, and every ounce of juice it possesses comes from the fear. Fear feeds the resistance, and to conquer resistance you need to master the fear.

You feel fear and experience resistance because the calling is necessary for your growth.

However, Fear is a good sign.


Because it guides you on what to do and not to do.

The strength of resistance is equal to the fear you experience. So the more scared you are of work, the necessary it becomes for your growth.

Resistance uses fear to prevent you. Evolution programs you to feel rejection, and it is the way, tribe enforces obedience with the threat of expulsion.

However, the professional never take rejection personally and never allow external criticism to reinforce your internal enemies. Resistance is the enemy and the battle inside in your head.

The professional takes the projects to stretch limitation and explore the unconscious part. The professionals do the work for money, but the goal is to get a professional attitude. Technically, the professional takes money, but they do it for love.

The professional plays for keeps, but the beginner plays for fun. The professional works seven days a week, but the beginner is a weekend warrior. The beginner pursuit his calling as a sideline while the professional dedicate his life.

Keep Doing your Work and the Magical Forces Comes to Help you

When you meditate, fast, pray, or go on a vision quest you access the self. Dreams and ideas come from the self, and to discover the self you deliberately change your consciousness. The self is your deepest being, but ego hates it. Because accessing self put the ego out. Spirit of self pulls you to evolve, elevate, and heighten your consciousness.

Once you awake, less ego you need. The ego hates artists because the artist awakens and pathfinder. The ego produces resistance because evolution is life-threatening to the ego.

You came into this world with a unique personality, and your job is to find your destination or your calling to achieve. Find out who you already are and then become one.

Do your work and give it to God as an offering. Every creation, invention, bar of the music, thoughts, and vision comes from infinite intelligence. The intelligence crafts you and the universe. Let the work comes through you and gives it back to the source. You are a servant, and your purpose on earth is to bring infinite intelligence into existence.

When you sit down each day and work, the magic begins to happen. Magic happens because invisible forces like muses and angels come and support you in your journey. You can call muses and angels your friends. Angels work for God, and their job is to wake you up. They’re here to give birth to the person your destiny to become.

Events occur because of the decision you make. Insight pops up in your head while you shave or take-shower. Power concentrates around you, and you become like a magnetized rod.

God comes to help you when you commit to achieve your goal.

Suggested Reading: Maximum Achievement Summary.

Resistance is intangible you can’t touch, smell, hear or feel

You can never hear, see, smell or touch resistance. However, it makes you feel anxious, tedious, sick and unloved.

You experience resistance in the form of energy when you work. The goal of the resistance is to stop you while doing your work.

You live in a profit-seeking consumer culture, and a variety of products are available in the market to overcome resistance. However, resistance never cures by buying expensive products. It overcomes by doing your work.

Even you may think the resistance comes from the outside source. Either resistance comes from your boss, spouse, or your kids, but resistance comes from inside. It is self-generated and never-ending energy.

The goal of the resistance is to distract and stop you from doing your work.

Resistance understands nothing but power.

It kills your genius, soul, being, and the unique gift you receive from God.

Resistance trick the amateur

Resistance uses the enthusiasm of amateurs against them.

It entices amateurs to take a project with an unrealistic timetable for completion. Because amateurs never sustain the workload.

The pro understands delay gratification and gives time to align career before taking giant projects. The pro prepares for hard work and takes help from experts, but an amateur thinks he knows everything and avoids asking for help.

The pro hears criticism to learn and grow but never allows criticism to break the dedication. However, an amateur takes criticism to heart and allows trump his belief and work.

The professional concentrates on work and allows rewards to come in. The pro prepares each day to confront behaviors and absorb setbacks. The goal is never a victory because success will come whenever it wants.

Favorite Quote From The Book

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. By Steven Pressfield

The more scared we are of a work or calling, The more sure we can be that we have to do it. By Steven Pressfield

How many pages have I produced? I don’t care. Are they any good? I don’t even think about it. All that matters is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance. By Steven Pressfield

Key Takeaway:

The beginner think he needs to overcome his fear to do the work, but the athlete know he needs to endure suffering and keeping practicing.

The part inside of you that needs healing is not that you compose from.

The part you compose from is far deeper and stronger plus the more trouble you experience the better and richer it becomes.

The part requires healing is your personal life, and your personal life has nothing to do with work. So make the motto no matter how you feel, either sick or happy, go to your desk and start working.

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