5 Fundamentals Of Conquering The Inner Struggles Of A Creative Mind
We are in the Millennial age, the best time in history to leave a dent in this world by your contribution through the web 2.0 affluence, without all the expensive resources and gatekeepers.
Steven Pressfield, a proud author to the book, "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles," had to overcome countless of obstacles over the years to establish himself as a "pro," who has successfully sold millions of books.
Fun Fact: Pressfield took 17 years to earn his first paycheck as a writer.
This timeless book takes us on a journey to understand "resistance," how to combat this self-sabotage demon and go beyond it, in order to define our purpose in life and succeed through our passion.
Protect Your Muse
According to Pressfield, many of us have a desire to become a creative influence in the chosen arena, yet we allow various obstacles to stand in our way in order to succeed.
Even when we have a daily dose of inspiring ideas, we allow resistance, hidden in our subconscious part of the brain (aka "lizard brain"), to halt us from taking the necessary action to reach higher realms.
External influences can also play a major part in affecting our muse (inspiration, influence, creativity and stimulation).
We were moulded to sit down and stay quiet, not think for ourselves.
Be nice all the time. Be normal. Don’t express your thoughts and feelings. Failure is not an option. Play by the rules.
"The Muse wants commitment. She demands a long-term contract. She wants us to sign in blood and hang in from now to the finish line. The Muse hates one-and-done. She will not tolerate weekend warriors or drop-ins. If we’re in, we’re in for the duration."
Do The Work
Knowledge is only "potential" power. Action is power. Action cures fear, resistance and any other self-sabotaging beliefs.
As soon as you start producing, your physiology will change. Begin the snowball effect by doing something small and building upon it, becoming larger over time and create a virtuous circle.
"The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. "We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. We can trade in the habits of the amateur and the addict for the practice of the professional and the committed artist or entrepreneur."
Show up every day. Start before you’re ready. Do the work.
Fun Fact: At this point, I was tempted to stop writing, leave it aside and finish it off "another time." Me: one; resistance: zero.
Choose Self Over Ego
Pressfield defines ego as the identity-center that runs our lives in the present, the material dimension where we continuously say, “I want,” “I need” and “I am.”
Somehow, we (especially Millennials) were brought up with the entitlement mindset, without wanting to earn our bread and butter. The "self," however, is our deepest being that is hidden away, unless we choose awareness.
"We have to go deeper. We have to surrender, give up the illusion of control, get out of our own way. We have to conquer our fears and jump off the cliff. Call it the Muse, call it “flow,” call it whatever you like. This is the Self—instinct, intuition, the unconscious. "When we hit it, it’s like striking a vein of solid gold. We lose ourselves—that is, our egos—and we find something greater: our Selves."
Principle Of Priority
"…states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first."
Urgent tasks require immediate attention. We live in a time-sensitive world, where we constantly have overlapping commitments that require immediate attention all at once.
Urgency is no longer reserved for special occasions. The never-ending to-do lists, social media notifications or emails from other people shouting, "Do it now!" has become the norm.
Important tasks, however, keep us grounded and maintain our focus on the long-term (goals). It is an act of taking charge, being responsible and taking action to control our lives.
We can remain calm, make logical decisions and welcome new opportunities with open arms.
Being proactive is one of the most important characteristics of successful and personally-effective people, according to Stephen Covey (author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People").
Be A Pro
The amateur is an egotist, who uses his pain only to gain attention on himself.
He waits until tomorrow for inspiration. He constantly changes his focus. He believes success will happen quickly. He never finishes the work.
He seeks instant gratification. He wants respect without the work involved.
The pro is here to make a difference and committed over the long haul. He focuses on activities that will only move him closer to the target, as well as sticking to the resolution.
He faces the same demons as the amateur, but acts in the face of fear. He self-validates and earns recognition by other pros.
"Master the fear and we conquer resistance."
Do I personally get affected by resistance? All the time.
I still consider myself as a recovering amateur junkie, but definitely on the way to being a pro.