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Do the Work

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  5,405 ratings  ·  474 reviews
Do the Work



Our 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
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Hardcover, 112 pages
Published April 20th 2011 by Powered by Amazon (first published January 1st 2011)
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Aaron Goldfarb
“This is what you deserve. You could be good today. But instead you choose tomorrow.”

--Marcus Aurelius


I 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 mani
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Scott
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 ...more
Sarah Fowler
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.
Daniel Swensen
I think this should be required reading for any creative person who has found themselves wracked with self-doubt. Invaluable.
Todd Russell
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 ...more
Brent Mair
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 Amazon'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
Krystal Williams
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 va
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Zoelle
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 ...more
Rosa
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
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Jay
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
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Alisa
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 ...more
Kate Colby
Do the Work is a swift kick in the ass. The entire book reads like that internal pep-talk we writers always try to give ourselves when we're feeling stuck or self-conscious.

The formatting is extremely helpful: the short sections keep the book moving quickly and make the rather large assertions by Pressfield seem more manageable. The way in which Pressfield personifies Resistance and breaks down the steps of the creative process and its related elements is a great help to the reader, making his
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Kevin Jennings
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.
Carol Apple
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 ...more
Corrie Adams
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
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Christina ~
A short awesome kick in the attitude to get it done. The 'it' may vary from person to person; be it a personal improvement goal, to start a business, write/finish your book(s). Any and all of it.

Resistance is what slows us down, or in some cases stops us completely, in all of the above endeavors. It is us against ourselves and this book along with its predecessor 'The War of Art' provide insight, illumination and tools to conquer the Resistance we subconsciously create to derail our pursuit of o
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Luca Conti
sei hai letto Linchpin di Seth Godin, è pressoché uguale. Il titolo poteva essere Lizard brain :))
Billie Pritchett
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 ...more
Nico
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
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Dennis Mitton
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. Everything
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Jeff Raymond
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
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Laurentiu Lazar
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 ...more
Richard
Published as a manifesto, "Do the Work" is a quick read (I read it in around 30 minutes) and it's just as well it is - as the book immediately grabs you by the scruff of the neck and inspires you to stop reading and get on and well... work!

The book educates you to overcome your natural resistance to doing things - anything from writing a book to starting a new business. It provides practical help on ignoring those little voices in your head that tell you that you'll fail, and to get on and get t
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Trevor
In this book Pressfield casts himself as the personal trainer for writers and other creative types. What Jillian Michaels is to the contestants on The Biggest Loser, Pressfield is to the readers of this book.

He dares to name the "Resistance" we all feel any time we think about embarking into uncharted territory - what if ______ (fill in negative consequence)?

Given the force of such unfounded fears, we deny our potential and put away our plans, pens, paint brushes, or pianos; we return to our sta
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Ethan
It's hard for me to figure out who would enjoy or at least benefit from this book. It's slight, with lots of typography size and position manipulation, the sort of thing your mother might pick up as an impulse on checkout from the greeting card store. You get all the requisite bulleted and numbered lists, mantras, and other supposedly short themes you're supposed to remember in daily life. But to what end? The general theme is that it's more productive just to get started on a project than to re ...more
MsSmartiePants ...like the candy...
Entirely worth reading. Well written not-so-common (if it were, we wouldn't need reminders) structure for getting your "X" started. Equally important: getting your "X" finished!

Why is it so difficult for us to begin something, whether it's losing weight, finding a mate, or ending a relationship? Thought provoking possibilities are here in the book.

What, exactly, is in our way? It has a name and it is the Resistance. You know that, but within this book you can get to know this internal voice in
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Shiva Ranjan
Hard hitting, no nonsense approach to execution. It's perhaps providence that brought me here and it's providence that will get you to read this. 5 stars all the way!
Ryan Brinkworth
There were some great messages, and it was well-structured advice from start to end. Tho once finished I can't help but wonder, Is that it!? Seems more of a high level presentation than an informative guide.
Grant
I loved it, but then again, I'm one of those poor slobs who thinks about doing the work more than actually doing the work. I waste more time getting ready when I need to get going. Though I would say there's nothing really new here, some of the best advice I've received in life as been the stuff I always knew to be true, but I needed a nagging coach/mentor to tell me over, and over, and over.

I had little to argue against this book. It is spot on and I've shared it with committees and brain-stor
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Moayad
Not special or mind opening. For a short book, it had too much repetition of a basic concept wrapped with cliché
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Free Kindle edition! 3 42 Oct 31, 2011 07:07AM  
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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 a
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“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.” 77 likes
“The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it.” 25 likes
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