The professional conducts his business in the real world. Adversity, injustice, bad hops and rotten calls, even good breaks and lucky bounces all comprise the ground over which the campaign must be waged.
– Steven Pressfield
It took me far too long to learn this lesson. If I could, I would pull little 12-year-old James off the soccer field and talk him through the ins and outs of adversity in the real world.
Feeling like the world is out to get us only distracts us from the work at hand. Our only concern in each “campaign” in our lives should be the parts which we can control. When we hit adversity, the best reaction is to accept it and focus on making our next action the best we can do.
My experience playing sports helped me understand this lesson in retrospect, but I can’t help but wonder how much better each “campaign” would have gone with this in mind.
I’ve read the War of Art twice now. To call this book inspiring would be understating the impact it can have for anyone trying to change any status quo. It’s a total punch to the gut – in a good way of course. It’s the kind of book that made me wonder: what if I never would have read this?
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
I started writing over at the Plant Eaters’ Manifesto six months ago.
I wasn’t an artist committing myself to my calling, but I was committing myself to have some fun blogging with my wife about a subject we care about. No one told me I’d volunteered for hell.
I thought a little writing would satisfy my craving for a creative outlet. I thought a little writing would help me wind down after a long day. I thought a little writing about vegan food – a subject so very central to my everyday life – would come easy.
Sheesh. Of all the assumptions I made, I never imagined feeling miserable. Alone. Worthless. Humiliated. Self-hatred. Each time I sit down to write, I end up at war with myself.
And yet, most days, there’s nothing I’d rather do.
Why is that?
Maybe it’s because I love the feeling of getting to know myself. Maybe it’s because it makes me feel like I’m pushing my boundaries.
I’m not quite sure, but I’m committed to explore the misery.