Steven Pressfield has written a wonderful piece today. I was struck by the concept of the upper realm and the lower realm. This was very helpful to me as I struggle to paint and trying to reach excellence. The painter, writer, composer, or any creative work, is a constant mental struggle.
Attitude is Everything!
Worthy Thoughts and Unworthy Thoughts
Labor toward excellence is an antidote to the lower realm. The lower realm is mediocrity. It’s ego. It’s stuck-in-the-self. It’s petty. It’s self-concerned, self-absorbed and self-obsessed. The upper realm—forgive the cliché—is truth, beauty and justice. It’s a guy beating his brains out to write one good declarative sentence.
The lower realm is belief in instant gratification. The lower realm is distraction. The lower realm is shallowness. It’s Resistance; it’s ego-centeredness. It’s all those forces, internal and external, that keep us earthbound, timebound and ball-bearing-bound. Like Hemingway, I need to write one decent sentence. I need to think one honest thought.
By Steven Pressfield