First impressions

A while ago I read The War of Art which seems to be Pressfield’s most famous book. It is highly recommended by John Sonmez.

I thought the book was great although not life changing. It explains how to beat Resistance, this force that prevents us from accomplishing our goals. Turning Pro is a follow up on the War of Art and I am happy to say that I found it a lot clearer and motivational. This book details how amateur and pro behaviours differ in all sorts of situations and how both deal with life changing decisions.

It is a quick and easy read but the book packs a huge punch. Worth it.

The Amateur tweets. The Pro works.

Notes and Takeaways

Don’t be a shadow of yourself

Simple yet powerful concept. We all have this image of our perfect self associated with a set of goals we need to achieve in order to reach that ideal.

One way we end up not following that path is by behaving like addicts: we get high in order to fool ourselves in believing that we are amazing or in order to numb the pain.

The addict seeks to escape the pain of being human in one of two ways–by transcending it or by anesthetizing it.

Addiction (sex, money, getting in trouble, living in the future/past, ..) is simply a distraction and a materialization of Resistance.

We are all scared

Pressfield then explains how overcoming addiction is in fact overcoming the fear of becoming who we really are.

It is indeed simpler to be a lesser version of ourselves. That way we can give ourselves (and others) the excuse of simply not being ourselves.

It is typical for amateurs to let others define who they are. The key is to stop being afraid of being judged for who we really are.

There are many ways remedies to Amateurism

Work everyday, focus on the long term and not the quick wins, be patient, make the complex simple, never show off, never be scared of asking for help …

Many more in the book ;)