Category Archives: Steven Pressfield

The Comforts of the Shadow

In the shadow of ourselves we worry not. We punch the time clock promptly @ 5 pm and hurry home to prop our feet up and forget about the day. Not a minute more will we exert ourselves for that  crappy paying job.  In the comfort of the shadow, we proclaim the police or local neighborhood watch group will take care of the recent string of burglaries wreaking havoc all around us. Never does it occur- that we should stand guard.

The shadow is our safety net; it is what author Steven Pressfield refers to in his book The War of Art as Resistance.  Resistance is the consummate lover of fear, rationalization as to why you can’t or won’t do what your heart longs  to do. This clever enemy will suffocate your soul with self doubt and familial critics.

It is a slow and sinister dance with the devil disguised as your Muse.

Steady your gait, feet properly aligned, eyes fixated on the rope, slow your breathing. Yes! You’ve done it. You peer back at the tightrope with great adulation. The rope is 20 feet off the ground and the net gleams with pride. With a sly grin and a wink of the eye, Resistance calls it a night. His work is done.

Nik Wallenda, the American acrobat has set nine Guinness World Records walking tightropes and riding bicycles at great heights soaring far above packed soil.

He got out of his way and chucked the net.

Ever breathed in the endless beauty of Yosemite National Park? Walked quietly among the Badlands?yosemite-national-park-landscape-scenery

Teddy Roosevelt stepped out of the shadow of his unspeakable grief and preserved these natural wonders and wildlife  into an everlasting gift of 150 million acres of national forests, created the USFS and many national parks throughout the land that we still enjoy today.

Whatever calling or gift we possess within us- story teller, healer, protector, acrobat or conservationist must be excised from the soft silhouette and catapulted into the world.

Be not among the timid souls but dare greatly in stepping out from the comforts of the shadow and into The Arena.

How to Build Bridges in Business and in Life

My Grandpa was a cabbage and lettuce farmer and for many years as a young curious girl,  I watched  him work and helped him harvest the crops. There is nothing else he would have rather done. It was in his bones.  I asked him one day if  I could take a turn driving  ‘Ole Blue’ as he called his rusty and reliable tractor.   He responded, “Have you been paying attention?  Yes Sir.”IMG_0032

Pulling his hankerchief from his pocket, he wiped the sweat off his brow, stepped down and said,  “Well, get up there and give it a go.”

 Like my Grandpa, many of us  feel driven by a purpose or calling- to start our own business,  become a life coach, create a blog,  write a book,  or get healthy.  Or perhaps even wish to master the art of staying calm under pressure. Yep, a few of these are on my list too.  So, how do we do this and meet with success?  

There are four key factors in building  bridges and accomplishing our goals: 

1.  Know the leaders/competitors 

Seek out and study those in the industry  and in life who have thrown themselves In the Arena and become champions in their field. What skill sets, resources and connections do they possess?

2.  Be their customer/follower

Listen to their story. Pay attention to the characteristics and behaviors of those you wish to emulate. Demonstrate loyalty to their product and service and reciprocity is sure to follow.

3.  Be their partner

True leaders want to see and help others succeed. What will your contributions be in this relationship? How can you help build them up? 

4.  Create your own niche

Be authentically You.  Focus on your unique talents, skills, traits and passions . This is one of the most important tools needed in building bridges in both our professional and personal lives.

Here are a few of the leaders in their respective industries that I follow and partner with who encourage, motivate and greatly inspire me to  step  In the Arena  in accomplishing my goals and reaching my dreams.

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*Steven Pressfield author of The War of Art, Turning Pro and The Legend of Bagger Vance- made into a major motion film starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.  Pressfield   offers invaluable wisdom  and great insight on  beating Resistance often disguised as our Muse.

*David Scott Mann– 

Founder of Lead Strong  leadership coaching, author, real estate investor , mentor and veteran- Lt. Colonel(ret), Army Special Forces Green Beret.  Scott’s expertise and skills extend well beyond the battlefield; training others to connect, succeed  and leave deep tracks  in this world through the power of storytelling. An Elite Leader like no other.

*Danny Ray Jr.–  Contributing writer- Life Hack,  and creator of  Dream Big, Dream Often .   Danny is a visionary  and community leader both on and offline with a seemingly inexhaustible reserve for helping others recognize and reach their dreams. A dedicated servant and advocate for those whose lives have been impacted by Multiple Scerlosis. The world could use a few more Danny’s.

Dreams

“Pay attention and give it a go”  Grandpa 

 

 

Resistance

 

In Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art, the central theme throughout is how to identify, understand and beat the beast of Resistance that is ever present in all of us.  It wears many masks-it is fear-procrastination-victimhood-self doubt-love-rationalization.  Resistance has one goal- Win!  Thank you In Momma’s View for suggesting I participate.  I’d rather not nominate anyone specific just hop in and share a quote that really resonates with you. 🙂

Resistance 1

 

Tough Mothers

In Steven Pressfield’s book the Gates of Fire, he tells the story of how the Spartan King Leonidas selected the 300 hundred Spartan men who were chosen to fight the enemy at the Battle of Thermopylae.

“The King didn’t pick his 300 champions for their warrior prowess… he picked them instead for the courage of their women…for the strength of their wives and mothers to bear up under their loss”

Leonidas knew that death at Thermopylae was inevitable.  So why then, would he send his men into die knowing their fate?  He understood that Sparta would face other battles and if it were to  remain standing, it would be because the wives and mothers would hold Sparta up on their shoulders  and not give way to despair as this would mean death to  all of Greece.

“The Spartan women did not break nor give way.”  

Spartan women

A year later, the Greek fleet was able to hold back the Persians at Salamis and Plataea hence ensuring the survival of the West because of their women.

And it remains true today, that the survival of our families, communities and culture  in large part is due to ‘tough mothers’ and wives and daughters.  I give my love and all my thanks to the selfless woman who adopted me and raised three children on her own a  Tough Mother award.

May we be one or may we know one.  Happy Mothers Day!