Creativity According to Steven Pressfield

Steven joined us live at 10am LA time, all the way from across the Atlantic to give his expert views on overcoming resistance. Steven set the scene beautifully by describing his excellent analogy of overcoming resistance on the battlefield. He explained that we are all on a battlefield fighting our own inner battles. Drawing parallels to a writer, when we are sat in front of a blank canvas, Steven explained that there is a negative force radiating towards him, and the aim of this force is stop him from working; he calls this force Resistance, with a capital R. He explained that in the life of a writer or an artist it’s not the writing part that’s the hard part, it’s the sitting down to write which is the difficult task. “Once you dive into a cold pool, you start warming up, the trouble is sitting poolside looking into the cold pool trying to get in,” this is Resistance. He explained that overcoming Resistance is the most important part; the art will follow.

Perfectionism equals Resistance

Resistance comes to us when aspiring for something higher. Resistance comes to us when we are aiming to achieve perfectionism. We often wait for the “perfect situation to manifest,” this never arrives. We must take the opportunity to grow and continue in our own endeavours in the present moment and not let Resistance engulf us into waiting for perfection. The law of Resistance is such that the more important the task is, undoubtedly the more Resistance we feel. If we feel besieged by negativity in our minds, that’s not our voice, but the voice of Resistance.

Its a Battlefield

Steven uses the battlefield Analogy and turns to the conversation between Arjun andKrishna described in the Bhagavad Gita to explore overcoming resistance. WhenKrishna tells Arjun to slay his enemies, he is not talking about necessarily killing humans but talking about Arjun’s own self sabotage, his own inner resistance. Krishnais instructing Arjun to look within, confront those voices that are stopping him frombecoming his higher self. He also talks about Yoga in the sense of union and that Arjun’s enemies are trying to separate him from Krishna. The higher level is Krishna andthe goal is union with the higher level, similar to an artist trying to reach that higherlevel.

Steven describes one of the key ways to defeat your own resistance is to turn Pro. Switching our mindsets from being an amateur to a professional. A professional is one that turns up every day, day in day out. The amateur, originating from the Latin word “to love,” and plays for the love of the game only, which can be fleeting. Steve is urges us to become Pros - the ones that play when they're hurt; when the situation is not perfect; the ones that have that higher purpose and truly listen to their inner calling.

Another excellent example Steven presented was to “think of yourself as a mother,” the mother is the artist who is a selfless leader, she takes care of herself, eats right and sleeps right. As an artist we are like a mother, willing to give birth and to sacrifice our own life to run into a burning building to save our child.

Take home messages

1. Recognize Resistance and be accustomed to it, for we'll be fighting this force our entire lives. We have to confront it on a adaily basis. “If we can simply teach ourselves to sit down, the art will come”
2. Being aware that the dream comes first, followed immediately by Resistance. The tree in the meadow represents the dream. Its shadow rpresents Resistance. The bigger the dream the bigger the resistance.
3. Focus on what we can control and tackle it steadily as a professional. A bricklayer builds a wall, a brick at a time.

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