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The War of Art

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Read this book. Personally, this book is on my re-read list, and I circle back to it every

few years for a fresh dose of inspiration and fortification. This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever set any goal in any field, and has struggled to achieve said goal. In a short, easy-to-read format, Pressfield details the forces of evil that stand in the way of every noble pursuit, labelling them Resistance. Then in equal detail, he describes the Muse, the goddess waiting to lead you to greatness. The secret to success, the key to opening the door and letting the muse into your life, is work.

On every reading different quotes resonate with me. On this reading, here are my favourites:

  • “The truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery.” - Socrates

  • “It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life. —Telamon of Arcadia, mercenary of the fifth century B.C.”

  • “The payoff is that playing the game for money produces the proper professional attitude.”

  • “Eternity is in love with the creations of time.– William Blake”

  • “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.” —W. H. Murray,The Scottish Himalayan Expedition”

  • A “test. Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?”

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