Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The War of Art and Do The Work were the most valuable books I read last year

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, gives a name to the force that makes us procrastinate. Pressfield calls it 'Resistance', and describes it as a part of ourselves that is actively trying to find ways to stop us from creating the things we were born to do. The War of Art was excellent at articulating this concept of Resistance, and getting me to emotionally buy in to the idea of defeating it.

Do the Work (the follow-up book) is fantastic at taking you step-by-step through a project: the various stages of Resistance you'll face, and some great fundamental strategies for making progress on a project. However, I feel it does skimp a little on defining 'Resistance', as it summarises material from The War of Art in a way that I don't think stands entirely alone.

The War of Art changed me but Do the Work is the one I refer to on a weekly basis.

Strongly related to those books is this blog post by Seth Godin: The First Thing You Do When You Sit Down at a Computer. He suggests that rather than check Facebook or Twitter, you spend that first block of time working on the thing you really want to get done, "laying the tracks" to accomplishing your goals.
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