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Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), 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. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. 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. – William Hutchison Murray
Do the Work is one of 3 short books written by Steve Pressfield on the challenges faced by artists/entrepreneurs on their path to creating great work. The Steve Pressfield Trilogy Includes:
- War of Art which deals with Resistance to creative work and pursuit. The key to defying Resistance is to
- Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way and
- Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work.
Do the Work shares insights on how to begin doing the work, after navigating Resistance which he expounded on in the War of Art.
Here are some of my favourite TakeAways from reading Do the Work by Steve Pressfield:
The following is a list of the forces arrayed against us as artists and entrepreneurs:
- Resistance (i.e., fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, distraction, timidity, ego and narcissism, self-loathing, perfectionism, etc.)
- Rational thought
- Friends and family
Resistance’s Greatest Hits
The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities that most commonly elicit Resistance:
- The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
- The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
- Any diet or health regimen. Any program of spiritual advancement.
- Any activity whose aim is the acquisition of chiseled abdominals.
- Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
- Education of every kind. Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.
- The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
- Any act that entails commitment of the heart—the decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
- The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.
In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.
Any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.
Friends and Family
- The problem with friends and family is that they know us as we are. They are invested in maintaining us as we are.
- 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.
The last thing we want is to remain as we are.
The champions on our side: Stupidity Stubbornness Blind faith Passion
The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossibly arduous were the tasks they had set themselves would have pulled the plug before he even began.
Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry
Entrepreneur’s indispensable allies.
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. Don’t think. Act.
She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.
- Once we commit to action, the worst thing we can do is to stop. What will keep us from stopping? Plain old stubbornness.
- When we’re stubborn, there’s no quit in us. We’re mean. We’re mulish. We’re ornery. We’re in till the finish. We will sink our junkyard-dog teeth into Resistance’s ass and not let go, no matter how hard he kicks.
Our mightiest ally (our indispensable ally) is belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or feel. Resistance wants to rattle that faith. Resistance wants to destroy it.
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.
Start Before You’re Ready
Begin. Remember, 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 we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
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