The book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield is about how to start and succeed in a creative endeavor, specifically, how to create the proper mindset for creative success and how to avoid the common problems that inhibit creative success.
After reading only a few pages of the book I quickly realized that the concepts in the book applied to way more in life than just the insight into continually being able to be creative and get work done. The author puts a name to that unseen force that stops many of us from doing the things we’d like to do and the things we need to do. These are the things that require not only a creative process but also a measure of heart, passion, and dedication. I immediately associated this with health and fitness. The author names this force Resistance.
Resistance is something we all battle each and every day. After reading the book I realized that I am constantly facing Resistance within my life as I try to balance work, family, friends and living a healthy lifestyle. In the book, Pressfield has a list of activities that most commonly elicit Resistance and one of the items is “any diet or health regimen.”
The book is best summarized with the following quote: “Resistance seems to come from outside of ourselves. We locate it in our spouses, jobs, bosses, kids.” But in truth, as he continues, “Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.”
Have you ever gotten to a point in your fitness journey when things are going along nicely; you’ve passed a few important goals and should be coming down the stretch to your ideal weight? Then suddenly something happens and soon you are reverting back to the behavior that is moving you away from the goal you have worked so hard to achieve. Soon you are asking yourself why does this keep happening? Why aren’t you proceeding toward your goal anymore? The funny thing about Resistance is that it comes on harder and harder the closer you get to achieving your goal.
My favorite thing about this book was how the author was able to make me feel as if he is speaking to me and about me. The great thing about my newfound awareness of Resistance is that I can now see it coming. It has given me a new perspective on life and has really helped me focus on getting things done.
So I will leave you with one last quote from the book that has really stuck with me:
“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”
Fight the Resistance!