For those that have who have found it difficult to proceed along the path of their calling, there isn’t a better book than The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Although geared toward authors, I consider this an essential read for anyone attempting to create something of their own that they feel is true to themselves, outside the guidance of a boss or other figure we typically rely on to keep us on track.
This book as highly complementary to Beyond Success and Failure which is all about self-reliance by breaking free of your child-like dependencies. If you’re ever going to live up to your true potential you’re going to have to quit paying attention to outside forces and summon the bravery to undertake your true calling.
This time around I figured that it would be better to just put the notes on Taming Life since others may find this information valuable.
Overview: The book helps people who are depressed, anxious, nervous, etc overcome these tendencies and become more self-reliant. Much of what causes unhappiness is firmly rooted in childhood patterns people carry with them into adulthood. These tendencies can be overcome with a combination of awareness and hard work.
The book discusses some core problems that are at the root of a lot of unhappiness in our daily lives and offers solutions for overcoming these problems.
What I find particularly interesting is how much of the content in this book seemed quite foreign to me even though I’ve read a lot of self-help books. The book originally was published in 1966 and appears to be another example of our modern culture forgetting the wisdom our grandparents once possessed.
What follows are valuable lessons from the book coupled with a few related observations I’ve made. Note that in addition to this article I’ve posted lots of valuable quotes from the book.
However, much of the craziness is self-imposed. Or at we least passively allow it to continue.
You do have the power to reign it in you know…
Turn off the TV. Don’t check Facebook. Turn off email notifications. Check emails and texts every few hours instead of constantly. Delay responding to people. Cut back on the junk surfing. Quit reacting.
Quit consuming for a one damn minute.
What’s that sound? It’s the sound of silence. Foreign isn’t it?
It’s even a little disconcerting.
Does the thought of being out of the loop make you nervous? Good. That means you’re addicted to the madness. And addicts aren’t in control of their lives, they just live for the next hit.
Don’t give outside forces the reigns then complain about how things turn out.
Do you ever get the nagging feeling that something isn’t “quite right” with modern daily life, but can’t really put your finger on it? You know what I’m talking about – the whole, 9-5, the commute, the coming home just to pop on the TV or surf around looking at some bullshit, going to sleep, then getting up the next morning just to do the same thing.
Almost everyone in modern life has some degree of stress and worry. In recent months, I’ve discovered the philosophy of ‘Stoicism’ and it offers an amazingly helpful technique for dealing with the troubles of modern life.
Back when the United States just was starting out, poor immigrants from Europe would sign indentured servitude contracts. These contracts stated that in exchange for passage to the new world, they agreed to work x number of years once they arrived.
The captain of the ship would sell these contracts to business owners upon their arrival, at which point they essentially became the business owner’s slave for the length of the contract.