Do the Work

Do the Work Do the WorkOur enemy is not lack of preparation it s not the difficulty of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account The enemy is resistance The enemy is our ch

  • Title: Do the Work
  • Author: Steven Pressfield
  • ISBN: 9781455820993
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Do the WorkOur enemy is not lack of preparation it s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.The enemy is resistance.The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self justifications and a million reasons why he can t shouldnDo the WorkOur enemy is not lack of preparation it s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.The enemy is resistance.The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self justifications and a million reasons why he can t shouldn t won t do what we know we need to do.Start before you re ready.

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    About “Steven Pressfield

    • Steven Pressfield

      I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother I graduated from Duke University in 1965 In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin place again Forty years later, to my surprise and gratification, I am far closely bound to the young men of the Marine Corps and to all other dirt eating, ground pounding outfits than I could ever have imagined GATES OF FIRE is one reason Dog eared paperbacks of this tale of the ancient Spartans have circulated throughout platoons of U.S troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since the first days of the invasions E mails come in by hundreds GATES OF FIRE is on the Commandant of the Marine Corps Reading list It is taught at West Point and Annapolis and at the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico TIDES OF WAR is on the curriculum of the Naval War College.From 2nd Battalion 6th Marines, which calls itself the Spartans, to ODA 316 of the Special Forces, whose forearms are tattooed with the lambda of Lakedaemon, today s young warriors find a bond to their ancient precursors in the historical narratives of these novels My struggles to earn a living as a writer it took seventeen years to get the first paycheck are detailed in my 2002 book, THE WAR OF ART I have worked as an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout and attendant in a mental hospital I have picked fruit in Washington state and written screenplays in Tinseltown With the publication of THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE in 1995, I became a writer of books once and for all My writing philosophy is, not surprisingly, a kind of warrior code internal rather than external in which the enemy is identified as those forms of self sabotage that I have labeled Resistance with a capital R in THE WAR OF ART and the technique for combatting these foes can be described as turning pro I believe in previous lives I believe in the Muse I believe that books and music exist before they are written and that they are propelled into material being by their own imperative to be born, via the offices of those willing servants of discipline, imagination and inspiration, whom we call artists My conception of the artist s role is a combination of reverence for the unknowable nature of where it all comes from and a no nonsense, blue collar demystification of the process by which this mystery is approached In other words, a paradox There s a recurring character in my books named Telamon, a mercenary of ancient days Telamon doesn t say much He rarely gets hurt or wounded And he never seems to age His view of the profession of arms is a lot like my conception of art and the artist It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior s life.

    102 thoughts on “Do the Work

    • “This is what you deserve. You could be good today. But instead you choose tomorrow.”--Marcus AureliusI am not a rereader of books. I prefer to try the new as opposed to revisiting the old. But there are two books I reread every year, that are constantly with me, both in physical form and on my mind. The first is Marcus Aurelius's stoic masterpiece on how to live a life, "The Meditations." The best thing ever written in my opinion. The second is Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art," a brief [...]

    • I really disliked this book. It's written from a very flawed (though perhaps redeemable) worldview containing obvious and repetitive ideas. (He also really needs to look up 'protean' in a thesaurus.) While I'd hoped to get a little boost from this and perhaps recommend it to friends, I'll be giving it a wide berth. It's a piece of corny writing that would better be summed up thus: JUST DO IT.In short, go do the work and don't waste an hour on this thing.

    • This book read like I was sitting through a bad motivational speech complete with Powerpoint slides and spam-laced marketing buzzwords (the gigantic font words intended to drill the points into my brain). I have enjoyed other motivational books but this one didn't work for me. The concept was promising: motivate people to finish projects (books, movie scripts, etc), but the execution was off. Despite not drinking the Kool-aid I still adhered to the "just get it finished" message and am shipping [...]

    • I think this should be required reading for any creative person who has found themselves wracked with self-doubt. Invaluable.

    • There wasn't anything earth-shattering in this book. I've received bits and pieces of it from many different sources. With that said I was inspired reading it. The author's energy is contagious. There were several passages that really hit home, like Test Number One: How bad do you want it -- something I ask myself everyday. This quick read is like a can of Red Bull, it gave me wings. I highlighted many parts and will refer back to it in the future when I need a pick-me-up, especially when I cras [...]

    • I loved Pressfield's excellent follow-up to The War of Art because in it he precisely pegs the particular forms of Resistance I'm prone to as a writer. (Research as resistance, anyone?)If you enjoyed The War of Art I highly recommend moving on to Do the Work.

    • Steven Pressfield's short book is a brief reminder that we need to work through the many things that stop us from being productive and creative and complete what we are doing. He frames adversity in such a way that I am able to have more courage as I press on as a writer and aspiring influencer.At the moment of this review it is free on 's Kindle. I read it on my computer and iPhone.Read on Kindle in 2011. Listened to on Audible in 2011.Listened on Audible on August 13, 2012

    • I read this book about a year after reading The War of Art, and I found it to be a wonderful refresher about Resistance. While this book is excellent, it does lack the depth of The War of Art. The War of Art explains the concept of Resistance in scandalous detail, while Do the Work does not. Instead, Do the Work is, according to Pressfield, "about getting off your behind and starting something." Therefore, I do not recommend it as a standalone. I don’t believe that the reader will get as much [...]

    • Do the Work is one of those short, "Here's a helpful kick in the butt, so you won't feel you're all alone" kind of books. You can breeze through it in one sitting to know what it's about (as I did yesterday evening), and then keep it on your Kindle to go back to whenever you do need that kick instead of wallowing in any "Woe is me" waste of time. Lord knows we all need that kick sometimes.This particular kick focuses on giving the reader a how-to push through their own resistance and lack of con [...]

    • I understand what he's going for and everything, but I completely and totally disagree with about 90% of his arguments and recommendations. I understand overstating a concept to make a point, and everything, but I had a deep, visceral reaction to the vast majority of his claims. Clearly, I am not the person this book was written for, and that's fine. To his credit, Pressfield does acknowledge that his methods are not for everyone, and if we want to vehemently disagree, more power to us, as long [...]

    • This slight book (really an essay) is a swift kick in the butt. If you have a project, any project, and find yourself procrastinating, this little book is a wonderful guide to help you get going. It has wonderful nuggets like, "Start before you're ready." There is nothing totally new in this book, but I found the concise advice and tips very useful, and this quick read is akin to having a personal trainer help give you the push you need to get better at whatever it is that you are trying to do. [...]

    • I really like Pressfield's motivational books, and for me they work as a good kick in the pants when I need one (i.e. frequently). At the same time, I'm not at all sure I actually buy into his basic premise (spoiler: this means I think it's a crock of shit)"We've been conditioned to imagine that the darkness that we see in the world and feel in our own hearts in only an illusion [but] There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us."However, while I think this [...]

    • This short but effective book is a really a firm lecture for people with creative goals. Pressfield delivers his interesting approach for how to cut through the zillions of distractions and reasons to procrastinate and tells us how not to give up in despair, so we can really get to work on our writing project, business venture, or artistic masterpiece. Beginning is the hardest part but there are pitfalls along the way that will, for example, cause a writer to fail to finalize that last chapter o [...]

    • I saw this book highly recommended by readers and commenters on Instapundit, and everyone said it was a quick read for a lunch hour or a quiet evening. Like anyone else I sometimes have trouble getting started on a big project, looking for excuses to put it off or allowing distractions to derail me, so I figured I could really benefit from a book that would teach me how to get off my duff and get going.I read it in about an hour yesterday afternoon, and I was disappointed. Its interesting format [...]

    • As a BzzAgent I got to read this book and review it. It was a really fast read, only took me an hour. It is a motivational book to get you going on any project that you may have for yourself. It talks about resistance and all the things that hold us back from accomplishing our goals. The book gives endless examples of book writing goals. I felt that this book was written for authors and not for me. I was not motivated to do anything. I gave it 2 stars on Good Reads. The Kindle edition of Do the [...]

    • I had the pleasure of reading Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" a few weeks ago. My only disappointment was that it lacked next steps and guidelines for how to proceed beyond a few core mantras. However, "Do The Work" is the perfect companion to "The War of Art." It fills in the gaps and provides the how-to's that seemed to be missing from "The War of Art." It too is a nice, short read designed to only briefly take you away from really matters---the work itself.

    • I've been reading this while working on a big choreography project. Steven became like a trusted mentor and gave me the best advice at all the right times. Love his work. Definitely read the War of Arr first, though.

    • This is one of those books that everyone in my circle is gaga about. It is pretty awesome, although it kind of left me wanting more. But one of the points it makes is to quit screwing around and do it (whatever it is)--NOW. Quickly! I guess he applied that principle to writing this book.I think part of why I didn't love it madly is that I never could get a good picture in my head of the overall structure of the book and where I was within that structure at any given time. Eventually, I discovere [...]

    • If you've read The War of Art and need a refresher or a jolt of inspiration to get back on track, this is a must-read.

    • Excellent kick in the butt for writers feeling unmotivated. It works best as a refresher to Pressfield's excellent The War of Art, given that the concepts broadly overlap. This will make a great book to reread every six months or so. It is super short and can be read in less than two hours.

    • The author lays out a clear road map for doing anything that matters and is unapologeticly realistic about the pursuit. It's going to be difficult and you'll face resistance from sources both known and unknown. A great book for guiding you through whatever big idea you're chasing.

    • "On the field of the Self stand a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon." Resistance is not just an annoying feeling at the pit of our stomachs. Apparently, it is so much more. It is the internal demon that is dead set on destroying our creative powers, eradicating our motives of self-expression, and scaring the living daylights out of us every time we set out to do something authentic and inspired. Just great, right?! Resistance is the antagonist in this brilliant, c [...]

    • A quick, inspiring read - especially for people who are full of ideas and often get stuck. So basicallyI loved it.

    • Steven Pressfield's Do the Work is something of a religious text. The advice goes something like this. If you want to do something, think about the end result you want, and even in spite of all the ways it could go wrong before you ever get to that end result, before you even really think, just do it, and you'll have plenty of time to make corrections later. And whatever the plan is make an outline with only three sentences, with the ending first, and then do the sentences for the beginning and [...]

    • In ‘Do the Work’ Steven Pressfield writes a neat little sermon that will very likely stir you up. Did I say sermon? Yup. Packaged as self-help for creative types this is really a religious screed with lots of yelling and with all the contradictions you expect from true believers. I thought, as I read through the first parts of the book, that the problem for most right-brainers is that the forces of the universe are aligned against you: in Pressfield’s religion it’s called Resistance. Eve [...]

    • I've never been a fan of self-help books. What few I've read I found to be self-serving and ultimately forgettable, something authors write to make them feel good about themselves, probably just to earn tenure somewhere. While some do have a nugget of insight, usually the concept around which many thousands of extra words revolve ends up being plain common sense. Above all, a reminder."Do the Work" to me was like this. It's got a good concept: the universe is working against you in the form of r [...]

    • This is one of those books that tells you how to be successful, how to overcome anything, how to be the one who gets it all done. And, like many books of this type, it is bossy and uses absolutist language that grates on me after a while. It painted things so black and white that I began to yearn for shades of grey and full color. There was one thought that really stood out to me about the compass nature of resistance. Basically, whatever we resist is pointing us to what will take us to the next [...]

    • Every so often, you reach this point in your life where you're looking for that nudge in some direction. I've been hitting a few walls with some things I've been thinking about/working on, and this short book was a perfect distraction during a power outage this evening.While this book may not tell you anything new, the way it synthesizes the need to just up and do what needs to be done to get things done - doing the work. It maps out the basics, validates the same issues we all generally have re [...]

    • I've started this book to encourage myself for the upcoming event inn my life. At times, everyone comes to doubt himself, to lose faith in his abilities to cope with the work he needs to get to an end - despite the fact that I'm prepared I've entered A CRISIS state. This book was really inspirational to me and made me realize that "resistance" has always been there and I've managed to overcome it most of the times - even if it meant failure at one point, I've learned my wrongs and became stronge [...]

    • This book is a quick read -- less than 100 pages. It is sort of like a pep-talk, designed to fire the reader up and get him or her into the creative zone. From my perspective, it is quite successful in that task.On page eight, I read the following:"Like a magnetized needle floating in a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true north -- meaning that calling or action it most wants us to stop what were doing. "We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by resistance letting it gu [...]

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