Are you doing things that are changing the world?
Here are 7 things Steven Pressfield can teach us artists/changemakers
Steven Pressfield is a blessing to us artists and the whole of humanity. He has been lauded by Seth Godin, and in my eyes, he is quite a revolutionary man. I love him for what he does and what he writes. When he talks about the minds of people, you’ll feel he is talking about you, he’s talking to you. You read him, and for quite a long time you’ll feel he has ripped apart “fear”, “resistance” and “success” like no one else. It was because of him I first got confident of publishing my work online.
Here is an assortment of his quotes that have touched me and helped me plunge!
- Volunteer for hell
If you are looking for a life that is going to be comfortable, cozy and full of goodies, well forget it. When you are changing the world, Pressfield has this advice for you:
“The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
And if you think, you are being a big deal if you are facing all the criticisms:
2. Don’t wait for the muse
I know how it feels when inspiration strikes. It’s like a bolt of lightning running through your body. And a thought that if this idea is manifested, it could probably change the world. It creates such joy, such bliss. But what discourages most people is that inspiration is so hard to come by. It’s so rare! But when we keep doing, even in the times of utmost boredom and demotivation, the muse visits us :)
“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
3. We fear enlightenment
“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity.
We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.” “Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
4. You are a warrior. Learn to fight your fears.
I don’t know if there has been anyone who has done revolutionary acts and not experienced fears. The only difference between them and us, who can’t conquer every fear we face, is that they feel the fear, yet they disown them. The amateur folds in the fear, while the professional turns it upside down!
5. Looking for approval. Bye-bye.
“The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”
This particular advice can be the hardest. But if we live by it, I think there is absolutely nothing that can stop you from making a dent in the universe. Validation can kill your enthusiasm and put you in self doubt. But:
6. Everyday. Encore. Every single day.
We all by now know, that success isn’t an overnight thing. But when we start out to do something amazing, all we want is success! We soon forget that all those who have been famous and revered have gone through hours and lifetimes of toiling to be who they are.
7. Oops, did you just complain about that artist being not-so-good and still having 11k followers? Behold :)
Credits: All images are taken from Google :) A big thank you to the sources who made them.
All quotes are of Steven Pressfield. Read his books to change your life for better.
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