Steven Pressfield

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In my experience, depth of work consists of two components. The first is recklessness; the second is discipline. Dionysian; Apollonian. Passion;reason.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Passion
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Don't wait for someone else to validate you. Validate yourself.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Waiting
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When we are succeeding - that is, when we have begun to overcome our self-doubt and self-sabotage, when we are advancing in our craft and evolving to a higher level - that's when panic strikes. When we experience panic, it means that we're about to cross a threshold. We're poised on the doorstep of a higher plane.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Mean
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Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North--meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing. We can use this. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others. 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.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Oil
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The essence of professionalism is the focus upon the work and its demands, while we are doing it, to the exclusion of all else.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Work
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Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. resistance is the enemy within.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Self
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It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior's life.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Motivational
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Slay that dragon once, and he will never have power over you again.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Dragons
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When we're living as amateurs, we're running away from our calling - meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Running
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When we make our art a practice, when we make our workspace sacred and enter it daily with respect and high intention, then we elevate our actions (even if they're taking place within the profane arena of commerce) beyond ego and above gimme-gimme ambition.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Art
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I wrote in the War of Art that I could divide my life neatly into two parts: before turning pro and after. After is better.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Art
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Every sun casts a shadow, and genius's shadow is Resistance.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Shadow
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The professional will not tolerate disorder... He wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept, so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Order
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A cavalryman's horse should be smarter than he is. But the horse must never be alowed to know this.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Horse
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Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Art
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Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Writing
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When we sit down to work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Ideas
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Nothing is as empowering as real-world validation, even if it's for failure.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Real
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We cannot let external criticism, even if it's true, fortify our internal foe. That foe is strong enough already.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Strong
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Always attack. Even in defense, attack. The attacking arm possesses the initiative and thus commands the action. To attack makes men brave; to defend makes them timorous.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Men
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To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Art
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Fame Imperishable and glory that will never die -- that is what we march for!
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: March
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If you're are paralyzed with fear it's a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Fear
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Cousin, the days of gods and heroes are over." "Not to me. Not to them.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Cousin
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In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term grown, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our high nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Integrity
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You and I may only be mortals, with all the foolishness and fallibility that that state implies, but we're mortals made in the image of heaven. The gods can't do their work without us. So let's be bold, in their cause and in our own. It's our job, we humans, to make manifest that which is unmanifest-and to raise into consciousness, in this material dimension, that which had been known before only in heaven.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Jobs
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No matter how great a writer, artist, or entrepreneur, he is a mortal, he is fallible. He is not proof against Resistance. He will drop the ball; he will crash. That’s why they call it rewriting.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Work
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Many pedestrians have been maimed or killed at the intersection of Resistance and Commerce.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Resistance
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Writers think in metaphors. Editors work in metaphors. A great reader reads in metaphors.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Writing
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Is there a spiritual element to creativity? Hell, yes. Our mightiest ally (our indispensable ally) is belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or feel.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Spiritual
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The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Buckets
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There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us. Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Powerful
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Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Moving
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Sometimes, when we're terrified of embracing our true calling, we'll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us. Are you pursuing a shadow career?
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Real
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But nothing really clicked for me until I gave up completely on hitting the overlap and just did what I loved, even when I thought nobody else in the world would be interested.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Would Be
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The artist and the mother are vehicles, not originators. They don't create the new life, they only bear it. This is why birth is such a humbling experience. The new mom weeps in awe at the little miracle in her arms. She knows it came out of her but not from her, through her but not of her.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Mom
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If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Jobs
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F@*# self-doubt. I despise it. I hold it in contempt, along with the hell-spawned ooze-pit of Resistance from which it crawled. I will NEVER back off. I will NEVER give the work anything less than 100%. If I go down in flames, so be it. I'll be back.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Creativity
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The professional, though he accepts money, does his work out of love. He has to love it. Otherwise he wouldn’t devote his life to it of his own free will.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Work Out
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When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us... Ideas come. Insights accrete.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Power
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Do I really believe that my work is crucial to the planet's survival? Of course not. But it's as important to me as catching that mouse is to the hawk circling outside my window. He's hungry. He needs a kill. So do I.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Believe
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Thr principle of organization is built into nature. Chaos itself is self-organizing. Out of primordial disorder, stars find their orbit; rivers make their way to the sea.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Stars
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A contemporary or near-future book is much harder because you can't fake the facts. There are people alive who know much more than you do about the subject. You have to really have your research together - and of course no one can know everything about a topic.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Book
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I love memoirs, particularly obscure ones because the writer is usually a regular guy just telling what happened to him and to his friends. What these tales lack in artfulness they make up for in passion and authenticity. For a writer of fiction, they are solid gold. I have stolen so much from memoirs it's ridiculous.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Passion
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Writers think in metaphors. Editors work in metaphors. A great reader reads in metaphors. All are continually asking, "What does this represent? What does it stand for?" They are trying to take everything one level deeper. When they get to that level, they will try to go deeper again.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Writing
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Picasso painted with passion, Mozart composed with it. A child plays with it all day long. You may think you’ve lost your passion, or that you can’t identify it, or that you have so much of it, it threatens to overwhelm you. None of these is true.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Children
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When a novelist or screenwriter is looking for a subject, the element he's seeking is conflict. Conflict makes drama. Conflict produces great characters and memorable scenes. So war is a natural topic.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Drama
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Every artist has to face his own demons and evolve his own method of working.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Artist
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The part we create from can't be touched by anything our parents did, or society did. That part is unsullied, uncorrupted; soundproof, waterproof, and bulletproof. In fact, the more troubles we've got, the better and richer that part becomes.
- Steven Pressfield
Collection: Parent