“Do The Work” Quotes

I recently finished reading Do The Work by Steven Pressfield. Here’s the quotes I found useful (there’s no page numbers because I read an ebook version):

“Fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”

“Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.”

“The problem with friends and family is that they know us as we are. They are invested in maintaining us as we are. The last thing we want is to remain as we are.”

“Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.”

“Once we commit to action, the worst thing we can do is to stop.”

“Start Before You’re Ready Don’t prepare. Begin.”

“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 we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

“Discipline yourself to boil down your story/new business/philanthropic enterprise to a single page.”

“Do you love your idea? Does it feel right on instinct? Are you willing to bleed for it?”

“Get your idea down on paper. You can always tweak it later.”

“Figure out where you want to go; then work backwards from there.”

“Your movie, your album, your new startup … what is it about? When you know that, you’ll know the end state.”

“I was thirty years old before I had an actual thought. Everything up till then was either what Buddhists call “monkey-mind” chatter or the reflexive regurgitation of whatever my parents or teachers said, or whatever I saw on the news or read in a book, or heard somebody rap about, hanging around the street corner.”

“Never do research in prime working time.”

“One trick they use is to boil down their presentation to the following: A killer opening scene. Two major set pieces in the middle. A killer climax. A concise statement of the theme.”

“Any project or enterprise can be broken down into beginning, middle, and end. Fill in the gaps; then fill in the gaps between the gaps.”

“One rule for first full working drafts: get them done ASAP. Don’t worry about quality. Act, don’t reflect. Momentum is everything. Get to THE END as if the devil himself were breathing down your neck and poking you in the butt with his pitchfork.”

“Get the first version of your project done from A to Z as fast as you can. Don’t stop. Don’t look down. Don’t think.”

“Ideas come according to their own logic. That logic is not rational. It’s not linear. We may get the middle before we get the end. We may get the end before we get the beginning. Be ready for this. Don’t resist it.”

“Let’s talk about the actual process—the writing/composing/ idea generation process. It progresses in two stages: action and reflection. Act, reflect. Act, reflect. NEVER act and reflect at the same time.”

“Our job is not to control our idea; our job is to figure out what our idea is (and wants to be)—and then bring it into being.”

“You are not to blame for the voices of Resistance you hear in your head.”

“The opposite of fear is love—love of the challenge, love of the work, the pure joyous passion to take a shot at our dream and see if we can pull it off.”

“Resistance puts two questions to each and all of us: 1)How bad do you want it? 2)Why do you want it?”

“Crashes are hell, but in the end they’re good for us. A crash means we have failed. We gave it everything we had and we came up short. A crash does not mean we are losers.”

“A crash means we’re at the threshold of learning something, which means we’re getting better, we’re acquiring the wisdom of our craft. A crash compels us to figure out what works and what doesn’t work—and to understand the difference.”

“A professional does not take success or failure personally.”

“Finishing is the critical part of any project. If we can’t finish, all our work is for nothing.”

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