The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield – Summary

The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield – Summary
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The Artist’s Journey is the 4th Part of the Resistance Series by Steven Pressfield. Here he talks about what’s next after beating resistance and how to pursue our calling.

For, Centuries the meaning of human life was to survive, that was our objective. We somehow managed to do it and now here’s where things got more interesting.

What now?

The goal was to survive for so long, now what’s the purpose?

We all have something within us that’s begging to come out. We know what it is, and we know what has to be done to birth it, but we don’t do it because we are afraid.

What if we actually have a talent? What if we really have a gift? What will we do then? This voice is Resistance. It wants us to lie in our comfort zone and lay dormant.

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is the quest for meaning. For some it might happen early, for others, it happens later. It is the passage we live out before we find out our calling.

On our Hero’s journey, we see, we experience, we suffer. We learn. The passage that comes after is the artist’s journey.

Take that gift that you have and bring it out into the world. Plant yourself where you want to be. You discover yourself by the work that you produce.

So who are you?

Dance & find out. Sing & find out. Write & find out.

The Artist’s Journey

The Artist’s Journey is a parallel to the hero’s journey. We must leave our ordinary world (Conscious mind) to reach the extraordinary world (Unconscious mind).

Discovering your unique voice and being you is the most important part of the artist’s journey. When you try replicating someone else’s style, you miss the opportunity of being you and you will never be at your highest potential.

Follow the muse, find your voice and become who you really are. The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.

The Artist has two levels: the first is the material world, and the second is the unconscious, the soul, or the superconscious.

The job of the artist is to shuttle between the conscious and unconscious. Surrender yourself to the muse.

Steven Pressfield was 99% finished with his first novel but couldn’t write the end and self-destructed in the process. He didn’t cross the threshold from the hero’s journey to the artist’s journey.

When he first finished writing The War of art, that’s when he truly embarked on the artist’s journey and never looked back since. He’s never missed completing a project that he started.

The first part of your life is building a vessel, the second part is filling it. The artist’s journey is the hero’s journey of the human race.

Don’t be afraid of the unknown let go and find yourself.

The Daimon in action

Daimon is a Greek word for genius.

Hermes Melissanidis is a retired Greek artistic gymnast and the 1996 Olympic Gold Medallist on the floor exercise.

Here’s a story of his daimon. When he was 8, he saw gymnastics for the first time on TV. He immediately knew what he wanted to do with his life.

He went to his parents and asked for their permission to arrange for a trainer to study gymnastics, to which they objected.

They come from a line of doctors and were horrified by their son’s passion for gymnastics.

Hermes went on a hunger strike and didn’t eat for 4 days. Finally, his parents agreed and came to a compromise if he would promise to be a doctor.

He agreed and graduated from medical school and became an Olympic gold medallist in the process. Today he is an actor.

We all have a Daimon within us. The answer is you decide. You start and you keep going. Strike while the iron is hot.

  1. You, the artist, are the hero.
  2. Resistance is the villain.
  3. The call comes from your daimon.
  4. The journey is your life as an artist—the works you will produce
    over your lifetime.

If you really want it, no force in the universe can stand against you.


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