Day #401: Book Recommendations for August: The War of Art- Steven Pressfield

I haven’t done a book recommendation in a long time and I have been receiving a lot of emails from some readers about doing a monthly book recommendation. I will try to keep this up for the first of every month and recommend a book I am reading for the month.

My favourite book this month among all the books I have read, is Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.

Here is what is amazing about this book as Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls says it:

I’ve never read a self help book that wasn’t fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It’s amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I’d assign, along with the letters of Flannery O’Connor.

It is the kind of self help book we have all being yearning for. A book that cuts out ‘BS’ and tells us straight up what we need to do to get our acts together. I am not going to write in-depth about it so I don’t spoil it for you. However I want to share one of my favourite points from the book.

THE UNLIVED LIFE

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever resolved on a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever felt a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.

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