Words of Wisdom from Do the Work! by Steven Pressfield
Do the Work! by Steven Pressfield is essential reading for everyone – especially those doing creative work. Pressfield delivers many home truths and provides the loving kick up the backside we all need from time to time.
This was the advice that resonated most for me…
1. Don’t overthink it!
“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”
2. It’s ok not to listen to advice from family and friends
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. If you’re reading this book, it’s because you sense inside you a second self, an unlived you. With some exceptions (God bless them), friends and family are the enemy of this unmanifested you, this unborn self, this future being. Prepare yourself to make new friends. They will appear, trust me.
3. Pursuing your purpose is not always easy
“Rule of thumb: the more important the call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.”
4. Work backwards
“Figure out where you want to go; then work backwards from there.”
5. Done is better than perfect
“One rule of thumb 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.”
6. Restrict your research
“Now you can do your research. But stay on your diet. Do your research early or late. Don’t stop working.
Never do research in prime working time. Research can be fun. It can be seductive. That’s its danger. We need it, we love it. But we must never forget that research can become resistance. Soak up what you need to fill in the gaps. Keep working.”
7. Regroup, regularly
“At least twice a week, I pause in the rush of work and have a meeting with myself.
(If I were part of a team, I’d call it a team meeting.) I ask myself, again, of the project: “what is this damn thing about?“”
8. Failure is part of the journey
“That was when I realised I had become a pro. I had not yet had a success. But I had had a real failure.”