Tag Archives: Procrastination.

Reflection for today…Choices and Procrastination- Hunter S. Thompson

19 Jul

“A man who procrastinates in his choosing

will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance. “

-Hunter S. Thompson

*

This simple quote stresses the importance of making a choice.

How easy it is to neglect a decision or to procrastinate making one.

Hunter reminds us that if we don’t make our choice, something or someone else will…

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Laziness Will Stop Your Progress -The Dalai Lama

27 May

“Laziness will stop your progress in your spiritual practice.

One can be deceived by three types of laziness:

the laziness of indolence, which is the wish to procrastinate;

the laziness of inferiority, which is doubting your capabilities; and the laziness that is attached to negative actions, or putting great effort into nonvirtue.” -The Dalai Lama

Interview with Steven Pressfield: Author of the War of Art | Goins, Writer

24 Jan

Interview with Steven Pressfield: Author of the War of Art |By: Jeff Goins.


The War of Art Book
*Here is an interview by a writer named Jeff Goins with the author of The War of Art: Steven Pressfield.

“10 Questions with Steven Pressfield, Author of The War of Art
by Jeff Goins | 43 Comments

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http://goinswriter.com/steven-pressfield-interview/

Steven Pressfield: Author, Screenwriter, Novelist
Today, I have the privilege of interviewing one of my favorite writers on the creative process.

Steven Pressfield is an author, novelist, and screenwriter. His books include The Legend of Bagger Vance, The War of Art (a must-read for any writer), and most recently, Do the Work.

Steve’s thoughts on the Resistance have been instrumental in my working through and overcoming creative blocks.

The interview is rather lengthy, so we’re going to jump right in. Here goes:

Jeff Goins (JG): Steve, your new book Do the Work just came out through The Domino Project — how does this complement The War of Art?

Should the two be read together, or are they both standalone pieces?

Steven Pressfield (SP): Jeff, the books should probably be read in sequence — War of Art first, just because it’s “the basics” of this particular view of the creative process; then Do The Work, which is much more specific. But both are standalone pieces, as well. At least, I hope so.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
JG: If you don’t mind backtracking a little, what led you to originally write The War of Art? Did you anticipate that it would become such a powerful manifesto for so many writers?

SP: When you’re a working writer, as you know, sooner or later friends and acquaintances will get you alone and confide that they, too, have a book in them.

I always want to help, so I’ve wound up staying up many nights till two in the morning with friends, trying to psych them up to write their book or finish their dissertation.

In these discussions, the concept of Resistance came up, of course, and pretty soon I had the whole idea for the book.

Finally I just said to myself, I’m tired of staying up till two in the morning telling my friends this stuff, I’m just gonna write it all down and then when people ask me, I’ll be able to say, “Here, read this.”

JG: Similarly, was there an inciting incident that led to writing Do the Work?

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
SP: The short answer is Seth Godin asked me. The long version is that I’ve been wanting to do a follow-up to The War of Art for a long time; then one day, I got a “Help!” e-mail from a young screenwriter who had to deliver a draft for school in two weeks and was totally stuck.

Normally I wouldn’t get involved in something like that, but for some reason I decided to try to help. So I wrote back, giving the young writer a few drills and “assignments.” Sure enough, it worked!

He wrote back that he’d got the piece in on time and everybody loved it. So, when Seth asked for a manifesto that was related to The War of Art, I thought, “Ah, here’s a way to do it.”

JG: What are some of your current daily writing disciplines? Do you do anything quirky?

SP: I’m a believer in what my friend Randall Wallace calls “little successes.” I always go to the gym first thing, or run, or do something act that faces Resistance and wins. That psychs me up for actually hitting the page.

I work every day without fail, even if it’s only an hour or two. And I’m superstitious as hell. I have a huge bowl full of pennies that I’ve found on the sidewalk and picked up for luck.

JG: At what point can someone who writes call himself a writer?

SP: When he turns pro in his head. You are a writer when you tell yourself you are. No one else’s opinion matters. Screw them. You are when you say you are.

JG: There seems to be “warrior” language to a lot of your writing. Why is this?

SP: Because I see the internal struggle as a war. Which it is. There’s a quote at the start of Do The Work:

On the field of the Self stand a knight and a dragon.
You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.

Art is a war — between ourselves and the forces of self-sabotage that would stop us from doing our work. The artist is a warrior.

JG: What led you to get involved with the Domino Project? What has that been like? What kind of pizza did you order for them?

SP: I got ‘em six different kinds: plain, peperoni, veggie, sausage, Hawaiian and one kind I forgot.

I’m a huge fan of Seth’s and a friend, too. I would work with him on anything. When he started describing the Domino project, he got about eight words out before I said, “I’m in.”

And the people Seth works with are as smart and as much fun as he is — Ishita Gupta, Amy, Willie, Michael, it’s an absolute pleasure to work with them. They are total pros, but they also have fun. And they are so far ahead of traditional publishers it’s ridiculous. I want to work with them, just to see how they do it and to learn.

JG: What do you think will be the future of publishing, and how does that affect writers?

SP: I think traditional publishers will still be dominant, and they should be because they really do assure quality. But eBooks, which are huge already, are going to eclipse everything. They will save traditional publishing the way DVDs saved movie studios (for a while) and they’ll greatly expand the number of readers.

Reading is alive and well and will get more alive and more well. Reading on tablets (or whatever the next tech device will be) is the future — and the future is now. Entities like the Domino Project will proliferate.

Amazon will become a serious force. Partly because it has the database of readers (Amazon.com’s computers know who buys my books or your books or John Irving’s books; I don’t know and you don’t know and John Irving doesn’t know.) That’s enormous.

The other thing is that writers themselves will take much greater charge of their own careers. They’re doing it already. There are still a few missing pieces to facilitating this transition on a grand scale (like an independent entity that will print, market and distribute books for writers without taking the giant cut that publishers do and without being so slow), but within five years, I suspect those companies will be in place.

JG: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

SP: Be great. Malcolm Gladwell’s maxim that it takes 10,000 hours of purposeful practice to master any art or craft is understated, in my opinion. Right now with blogs and the flood of internet access, a multitude of aspiring writers think they’re ready for prime time. They’re not.

Be great. Read. Write. Bust your ass. Learn and find your voice. As hard as you think it is, it’s a hundred times harder. Good luck.

JG: To paraphrase (and steal) a line from a popular show: When you die, what do you want to hear God say to you?

SP: “Your tee time is ready, Mister P.”

* * *

You can buy Steven Pressfield’s latest book Do the Work on Amazon as well as the classic The War of Art (affiliate links). For more about this book, read this interview: “How do you really Do the Work?”

If you liked this interview, please feel free to tweet it, share it, etc.

What does it mean for you that the artist is a warrior?

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

23 Jan

This is a book I came across years ago. The War of Art book by Steven Pressfield
Its been on my reading list for years- although I have yet to track it get it.

It is really ironic that I have been sort of procrastinating reading this book because it is about battling procrastination.
Well, I haven’t exactly been procrastinating reading it but I have not made it a priority- even though I really want to read it.

I have been battling the demons of procrastination and self-sabotage all of my life. I am now working on transcending the resistance, procrastination and self-sabotage.

***The only cure is discipline regardless of the creative endeavor.***

This book is a guide for overcoming resistance and tapping into creative potential.
It is a creative manifesto.
Just what I need.

Here is an excerpt from Steven Pressfield himself about what The War Of Art is about from his website:
http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-war-of-art/#book-top/

The War of Art
A vital gem . . . a kick in the ass.

—Esquire

I’ve never read a self help book that wasn’t fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It’s amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I’d assign, along with the letters of Flannery O’Connor.
—Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls

BUY: Hardcover | Paperback | MP3 | eBookBOOKS

[This excerpt starts at the book’s very beginning and continues through the opening few chapters.]

“1. WHAT I DO

I get up, take a shower, have breakfast. I read the paper, brush my teeth. If I have phone calls to make, I make them. I’ve got my coffee now. I put on my lucky work boots and stitch up the lucky laces that my niece Meredith gave me. I head back to my office, crank up the computer. My lucky hooded sweatshirt is draped over the chair, with the lucky charm I got from a gypsy in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for only eight bucks in francs, and my lucky LARGO name tag that came from a dream I once had. I put it on. On my thesaurus is my lucky cannon that my friend Bob Versandi gave me from Morro Castle, Cuba. I point it toward my chair, so it can fire inspiration into me. I say my prayer, which is the Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, that my dear mate Paul Rink gave me and which sits near my shelf with the cuff links that belonged to my father and my lucky acorn from the battlefield at Thermopylae. It’s about ten-thirty now. I sit down and plunge in. When I start making typos, I know I’m getting tired. That’s four hours or so. I’ve hit the point of diminishing returns. I wrap for the day. Copy whatever I’ve done to disk and stash the disk in the glove compartment of my truck in case there’s a fire and I have to run for it. I power down. It’s three, three-thirty. The office is closed. How many pages have I produced? I don’t care. Are they any good? I don’t even think about it. All that matters is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance.

2. WHAT I KNOW

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t and the secret is this: it’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.

What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

3. THE UNLIVED LIFE

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever resolved on a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever felt a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.

One night I was layin’ down,
I heard Papa talkin’ to Mama.
I heard Papa say, to let that boy
boogie-woogie. ‘Cause it’s in him
and it’s got to come out.
—John Lee Hooker,
Boogie Chillen’

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling.. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul’s seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star’s beacon and Polaris.

Every sun casts a shadow, and genius’ shadow is Resistance. As powerful as is our soul’s call to realization, so potent are the forces of Resistance arrayed against it. Resistance is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, harder to kick than crack cocaine. We’re not alone if we’ve been mown down by Resistance; millions of good men and women have bitten the dust before us. And here’s the biggest bitch: we don’t even know what hit us. I never did. From age twenty-four to thirty-two, Resistance kicked my ass from East Coast to West and back again thirteen times and I never even knew it existed. I looked everywhere for the enemy and failed to see it right in front of my face.

Have you heard this story: woman learns she has cancer, six months to live. Within days she quits her job, resumes the dream of writing Tex-Mex songs she gave up to raise a family (or starts studying Classical Greek, or moves to the inner city and devotes herself to tending babies with AIDS.) Woman’s friends think she’s crazy; she herself has never been happier. There’s a postscript. Woman’s cancer goes into remission.

Is that what it takes? Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance? Does Resistance have to cripple and disfigure our lives before we awake to its existence? How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is telling us to? Resistance defeats us. If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, overnight every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage and dandruff.

Look in your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.

4. RESISTANCE’S GREATEST HITS

The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities, which most commonly elicit Resistance:

1) The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.

2) The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.

3) Any diet or health regimen.

4) Any program of spiritual advancement.

5) Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.

6) Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.

7) Education of every kind.

8) Any act of political, moral or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.

9) The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.

10) Any act which entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.

11) The taking of any principled stand in the face of potential reprisal.

In other words, any act which disdains short-term gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any act of these types will elicit Resistance.

Now: what are the characteristics of Resistance?

5. RESISTANCE IS INVISIBLE

Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. It is experienced as a force field emanating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its intention is to shove the creator away, distract him, sap his energy, incapacitate him.

If Resistance wins, the work doesn’t get written.

6. RESISTANCE IS INTERNAL

Resistance seems to come from outside ourselves. We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids, distractions. “Peripheral opponents,” as Pat Riley used to say when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers.

Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.

7. RESISTANCE IS INSIDIOUS

Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stick-up man. Resistance has no conscience. It understands nothing but power. Resistance cannot be negotiated with. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.

8. RESISTANCE IS IMPLACABLE

Resistance is like the Alien or the Terminator or the shark in “Jaws.” It cannot be reasoned with. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack.

This is Resistance’s nature. It’s all it knows.

9. RESISTANCE IS IMPERSONAL

Resistance is not out to get you personally. It doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t care. Resistance is a force of nature. It acts objectively.

Though it feels malevolent, Resistance in fact operates with the indifference of rain and transits the heavens by the same laws as the stars. When we marshal our forces to combat Resistance, we must remember this.”

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