Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Notes From Reading "The War of Art" By Steven Pressfield

Yesterday, I attended the quarterly business book club run by the Naperville Chamber of Commerce.

We discussed the book "The Art of War" by Steven Pressfield (Author of "The Legend of Bagger Vance").

Here are my notes:

1. The Resistance = Procrastination, unhappiness.

2. Self-doubt is an ally: "The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death."

3. Fear = good.  Fear tells us what we have to do. If it's good for growth, we will feel resistance and fear.  The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch.  He's scared, petrified.

Conversely, the professional turns down roles he's done before.  No longer afraid.  Why waster his time?

4. Support from others is monopoly money.  We have to face Resistance alone.

5. Healing - A form of resistance.  Warrior just does the work.  When Pressfield down, he sat and wrote junk, but doing the work was enough - he then washed dishes while whistling.

6. If feel resistance, then you are doing what you love.  Opposite of love is indifference.

7. Need isolation to do best work - the muse takes over and we lose track of time.
8. Combat Resistance by turning pro = learn to be miserable.

9. Pro really does it for love, but attitude is he does it for pay: working stiff, lunch pail, hard hat, no mystery or drama, day in and day out.

10. Artistic professional like 9-5 job: do it every day, but not defined by it.

11. Professionals, no excuses. if give in to Resistance once, then twice as easy next time.

12. Love the work, but its not you.  Don't take success or failure personally.

13. Pros: self-validate, play it as it lays.

14. Pros establish professional order.

15. Professional is patient.  Resistance uses enthusiasm against you.  Long haul.  Success takes twice as long as you think.

16. professional demystifies: Amateur = must conquer fear.  Pro = Can't overcome fear, live with it and keep plugging away.

17. Order from chaos.  Tap into creativity, muse.  Ideas just come to us if we plug away long enough.

18 hierchy vs. territorial. Schools / work hierarchies.
    Pros are territorial (i.e. Swartzenegger gym).  Territory gives what you put in.
19. Motivation hierarchy or territory?
       1. if anxious, what do you do?  (Shwartzeneggar would go to gym)
       2. If last person on earth, would you still do it?