Book Summary & Notes: The War of Art

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The War Of Art

The War of Art

Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

by Steven Pressfield

  • Category: Non-fiction / Self Help
  • Publisher: Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-936891-02-3
  • Read: May 2016

Find it on Amazon for more details and reviews

Mike’s Thoughts on The War of Art

Don’t take this book for face value and assume it only applies to “Art” art. On the contrary, this book is a motivational kick in the pants for anyone and everyone pursuing a passion. Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art examines the human pursuit of creative endeavors and decomposes the internal and external factors that prevent us from achieving these goals. These factors manifest themselves in a variety of ways, but ultimately are the result of a larger force which he has appropriately dubbed “Resistance”.

It’s hard not to draw parallels to Pressfield’s obvious inspiration for The War of Art – Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The book is laid out in a similar fashion, with the message detailed in short concise observations and statements, over short sections that seek to categorize and deconstruct Resistance further. The inevitable realization is that Resistance is the absolute enemy to the creative process. What did Sun Tzu have to say about the enemy?

Thus it is said that one who knows the enemy and know himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements. One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defeat. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated in every engagement.

So what is Resistance, and how can you recognize it? In Pressfield’s own words… Read More

Absent Without Leave

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Hey, remember me?person-silhouette-clip-art

My apologies for going AWOL for the past several months. Life has been nothing short of chaotic, and unfortunately this blog experiment had to take a backseat to more important things that needed attending to. Don’t worry, I’ll get to all that very soon. That said, it’s time for me to redirect my attention back here and refocus on the goals of this blog.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#2ac4ea” class=”” size=””]So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late. ~ Lee Iacocca[/pullquote]

Before my unexpected hiatus, I had a lot of things that I wanted to write about from both a personal and professional perspective, and I intend to detail some of these things over the next few weeks. As usual, the topics are all over place (much like the author), varying from “How to ask for more money at work” to “Systems Thinking” to why I started assigning unique ringtones to my iPhone contacts aka “How to make your own ringtones instead of paying $0.99 per tone”. Did you know that I am bionic? Yeah, we’ll talk about that too.

And I’ve also added a ton of things to the ever-evolving “To Write” list as well, ranging from books and games I’ve been enjoying recently, to long term educational and career aspirations that have become more solidified in my mind as of late, and how I’m going to meet those goals. My house has seen a bunch of improvements since September/October that I want to recap, I recently bought my first new car in 11 years, and I even have some pretty exciting work related news to share. Read More

One Pot Meal: Hawaiian-style Pork Chili

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Beef and Beans: It’s not what’s for Dinner

chili cookoffChili is not only a very appealing dinner from a nutritional standpoint (what better way to get your veggies?), it is also an incredibly complex blend of flavors coming together to meld into one delicious dish. No specific ingredient should ever dominate. But as a kid growing up in upstate NY, when I thought of chili for dinner it was always the same image in my head: ground beef and kidney beans in a tomato-based sauce. Simple, but not necessarily appealing. Not to mention, I wasn’t wild about beans. Read More

DIY Home Improvements: How to Replace a Light Switch

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In Your Face but Overlooked

Before we bought our first home in January 2014, my wife and I spent IMG_5032-2the previous 12-24 months going to Open House events and getting acquainted with the local real estate market. Within our budget range, we were targeting homes in well established neighborhoods close to the city. Because we desired to be close to the city, to stay within budget we had to limit ourselves to homes that were typically 50+ years old or more. In that time we probably toured over 50 homes for sale, during which I quickly developed a serious pet peeve: light switches, outlets, and plates. Read More

Balance, Coordination, and How to Build Parallettes

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Time Constraints and Balancing Acts

There is a sign hanging in the entryway of my local Gold’s Gym with the motivational phrase “Know that showing up is half the battle”. However you might feel about clichés, I think this one resonates with a lot of people. With only a finite number of hours in a day, finding the time to get to the gym for exercise can be its own challenge. As an example, I recently started a new project at work that has me commuting two hours roundtrip each day. Previously, my roundtrip commute was just an hour. One of the first things that a lot of people cut from their daily routine when free time becomes limited is fitness, and sadly I have been no exception. This is something I intend to rectify once I am fully up to speed on the project, but for the time being I have fallen back on my home gym equipment to get me through this transition. There is not a lot of free space in my basement, so my home gym equipment tends to be portable items like kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, etc. In essence, items that facilitate bodyweight training for strength and conditioning. Read More