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Preview — Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
Don’t prepare. Begin.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Begin it now.
Research can become Resistance. We want to work, not prepare to work.
The creative act is primitive. Its principles are of birth and genesis.
Outline it fast. Now. On instinct.
Stay primitive. Trust the soup. Swing for the seats.
4. Be ready for Resistance.
David Lean famously declared that a feature film should have seven or eight major sequences. That’s a pretty good guideline for our play, our album, our State of the Union address.
It progresses in two stages: action and reflection. Act, reflect. Act, reflect.
NEVER act and reflect at the same time.
In writing, “action” means putting words on paper. “Reflection” means evaluating what we have on paper. For this first draft, we’ll go light on reflection and heavy on action.
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.
The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it. Can we hear it in our head? It exists, like a signal coming from a faraway radio tower. Our job is to tune to that frequency.
Principle Number One: There Is an Enemy The first principle of Resistance is that there is an enemy.
Principle Number Two: This Enemy Is Implacable
Principle Number Three: This Enemy Is Inside You
Principle Number Four: The Enemy Is Inside You, But It Is Not You
Principle Number Five: The “Real You” Must Duel the “Resistance You”
Principle Number Six: Resistance Arises Second
It means that, at bottom, Resistance is not the towering, all-powerful monster before whom we are compelled to quake in terror. Resistance is more like the pain-in-the-ass schoolteacher who won’t let us climb that tree in the playground. But the urge to climb came first. That urge is love. Love for the material, love for the work, love for our brothers and sisters to whom we will offer our work as a gift. In Greek, the word is eros. Life force. Dynamis, creative drive.
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.
Test Number One “How bad do you want it?”
Dabbling • Interested • Intrigued but Uncertain • Passionate • Totally Committed
Test Number Two “Why do you want it?”
For the babes (or the dudes) The money For fame Because I deserve it For power To prove my old man (or ex-spouse, mother, teacher, coach) wrong To serve my vision of how life/mankind ought to be For fun or beauty Because I have no choice
The only items you get to keep are love for the work, will to finish, and passion to serve the ethical, creative Muse.
When we experience panic, it means that we’re about to cross a threshold. We’re poised on the doorstep of a higher plane.
Panic is good. It’s a sign that we’re growing.
In the belly of the beast, we remind ourselves of two axioms: The problem is not us. The problem is the problem. Work the problem.
He knew that Resistance was strongest at the finish.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as ...more
Fear of success is the essence of Resistance.