Do The Work - By Steven Pressfield

Date read: 
July 21, 2017
See My Collection of 50+ Book Notes

My Thoughts

The more important something is, the more Resistance we will feel towards it. There's only one solution: to do the work! This is a super short read that never fails to make me shut up and put the work in. I reread it once or twice per year.

Summary Notes

In the modern world, there's really no excuse. You've got a computer, connected to the entire world. You've got a publishing platform you can use to interact with anyone, anytime, for free. You wanted a level playing field, one where you have just as good a shot as anyone else? Here it is. Do the work.


Resistance manifests itself as:

  • Fear
  • Self-doubt
  • Procrastination and distraction
  • Addiction
  • Timidity
  • Ego and narcissism
  • Self-loathing and depression
  • Perfectionism

We beat Resistance whenever we reject immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity, and embrace our higher nature..

Rule of thumb: The more important something is to us, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

Stay Stupid

The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how hard their pursuits were would have given up long before they even begean.

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.

Commandements & Maxims

Don’t think. Act.

Be Stubborn. Once you commit to action, the worst thing you can do is to stop.

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

You’re allowed to read three books on your subject. No more. Research can become Resistance. We want to work, not prepare to work.

If you and I want to do great stuff, we can’t let ourselves work small. A home-run swing that results in a strikeout is better than a successful bunt or even a line-drive single.

“God made a single sheet of yellow foolscap exactly the right length to hold the outline of an entire novel.”

Better to have written a lousy ballet than to have composed no ballet at all.

Related Notes

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