While I was recently on vacation, I picked up a book from my friend’s book shelf. The book was The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. I knew it would be an excellent read when I realized he was the same author who wrote The Bagger Vance. This is one of my favorite movies starring actors Will Smith, Matt Damon, Jack Lemmon and Charlize Theron. I love this movie because it deals with real-life issues that plague everyone – challenges in our lives that we allow to hold us back, how we can overcome them, and how we respond to true tests of our integrity. Matt Damon, with the guidance of Will Smith, faced his demons, overcame them after much suffering, and chose integrity when tested, which gave him ultimate freedom of life. Giving his book the benefit of the doubt based on my love of his work, I picked up Pressfield’s The War of Art. What I discovered was a delightful continuation of the theme of how to overcome resistance to truly connect to your purpose.
Pressfield addressed all the various forms of resistance that keep us from pursuing our dreams. While the book is directed to creative types, the forms of resistance are applicable to everyone. As Pressfield noted, resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. I felt like no resistance stone was unturned; rather, Pressfield exposed all the insidious forms of resistance that are camouflaged as righteous justifications. I felt like I was given the gift of resistance radar and it could no longer hold me back from my goals. I saw resistance for what it was – an unjustified distraction that is rooted in avoidance of purpose. I savored a sense of freedom and dared resistance to try to distract me.
So here’s a teaser. After dedicating two sections of his book to exposing resistance, he gives us a flavor of the results of defeating resistance:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it now. ~Goethe
Sit down daily and work. Something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set in motion by which inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.
The muses take note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned her favor. When we sit down and work, we become like magnetized rods that attract iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
Just as resistance has its seat in hell, so creation has its home in heaven. And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and active ally. Pressfield
If you are ready to recognize resistance in your life, release its hold on keeping you from your dreams and connect to your purpose, give yourself the gift of this book and a delightful afternoon of savoring the possibilities.