Toby Wilkins

The war of art

  • Author:  Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
  • Rating: 7/10
  • Comment: A bit woo-woo’ie in its writing style, which I didn’t like. But, some good messages about resistance, what it is and how to overcome it.
  • Amazon: The war of art

Book Notes

  • Don’t focus on the end goal, focus on doing the small work day in and day out.
  • Success, like Happiness, comes from a byproduct of doing work.
  • Sitting down and getting started is the hard part. Doing the work is the easy bit.
  • Resistance is inside all of us, it prevents us from doing the work we need, or want to do.
  • Resistance is especially strong, where we trade a short term gratification, for longer term objective.
  • Resistance is always lying to you, and full of shit. It will tell you anything, to stop you getting the work done.
  • Never forget, that we can change and improve our lives at any moment we want. You just need the willpower to do so.
  • Examples of resistance: snacks, food, sex, TV,Gossip, alcohol, shopping.
  • Playing the victim can often be a type of resistance, and even be passive aggressive. It seeks gratification not by working, but manipulating others by compelling others to come to the rescue, holding them hostage.
  • Resistance can manifest as unhappiness, feeling bad and low self esteem, restlessness or misery.
  • Humans are wired to experience restlessness. We will never be able to eliminate it.
  • Humans are not very good at being alone. We don’t know, naturally, how to be fully free.
  • If you doubt your role, you probably are that role. If you are overconfident, you may be a counterfeit.
  • Rule of thumb, the more scared we are work or a calling, the more we can be sure that we need to do it.
  • Professionals are drawn to the difficult, scary work that grows the
  • I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” That’s a pro.
  • Ask yourself why you are doing work. The professional does it out of love for the work.
  • It is not about the tool, but the result that maters.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
  • Don’t shy away from what looks difficult or scary. Instead, go towards it.
  • Just play the situation as it’s dealt to you. The situation is hardly ever perfect. Make the most of what you have.
  • Don’t take things personally. Honest feedback helps you.
  • Recognise your limitations, and use that knowledge to play to your advantage.
  • Don’t stagnate. Keep reinventing yourself and adapt to change.
  • Serendipity reinforces our purpose.
  • When we sit down to work, we get out of our own way.
  • Resistance feeds on fear.
  • Our aim in life, is not to reinvent ourselves, but find the thing that we are meant to be.
  • Humans are hard wired to thrive in groups of twenty to 800. After then, hierarchal organisation breaks down.
  • All humans have territories. Out house or room. Our place sustains us.
  • The act of creation, is by definition territorial.
  • Everyone is basically winging it every day.
  • If you’r naturally not meant to do something, then don’t do it. You will only hurt yourself trying. Don’t destroy yourself trying to be someone you are not.