Steven Pressfield quote

"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

Born: 1943

Occupation: Author

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More quotes of Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield

If you were meant to cure cancer or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children, you hurt me, you hurt the planet. You shame the angels...

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt,...

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Steven Pressfield

The only intercourse possible between the knight and the dragon is battle.

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Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill

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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 our chattering brain, which, if we give...

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Steven Pressfield

Stay stupid. Follow your unconventional crazy heart.

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Steven Pressfield

Start before you’re ready. Good things happen when we start before we’re ready.

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Steven Pressfield

Research can become Resistance. We want to work, not prepare to work.

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Steven Pressfield

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...

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Steven Pressfield

When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion.

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Steven Pressfield

Slay that dragon once, and he will never have power over you again.

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

The amateur tweets. The pro works.

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Steven Pressfield

Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred and fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition...

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

That’s why an artist must be a warrior and, like all warriors, artists over time acquire modesty and humility. They may, some of them, conduct themselves flamboyantly in public. But alone with the work...

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Steven Pressfield

The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration...

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Steven Pressfield

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...

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Steven Pressfield

The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.

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Steven Pressfield

The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket.

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Steven Pressfield

When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own.

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Steven Pressfield

The professional conducts his business in the real world. Adversity, injustice, bad hops and rotten calls, even good breaks and lucky bounces all comprise the ground over which the campaign must be waged....

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Steven Pressfield

What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead.

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Steven Pressfield

Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery.

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Steven Pressfield

Resistance is directly proportional to love. If you’re feeling massive Resistance, the good news is, it means there’s tremendous love there too. If you didn’t love the project that is terrifying...

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Steven Pressfield

The artist must be like that Marine. He has to know how to be miserable. He has to love being miserable. He has to take pride in being more miserable than any soldier or swabbie or jet jockey. Because...

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Steven Pressfield

Tomorrow morning the critic will be gone, but the writer will still be there facing the blank page. Nothing matters but that he keep working.

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

It can pay off, being a hack. Given the depraved state of American culture, a slick dude can make millions being a hack. But even if you succeed, you lose, because you’ve sold out your Muse, and your...

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Steven Pressfield

It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior's life.

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Steven Pressfield

Don't prepare. Begin. Our enemy is not lack of preparation. The enemy is resistance, our chattering brain producing excuses. Start before you are ready.

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Steven Pressfield

I guess what I want to say to us artists and entrepreneurs is that conventional yardsticks of success don't apply to all enterprises. Labors of love count.

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Steven Pressfield

Don't prepare, do. Don't let Resistance sucker you into wasting months on background, foundation, planning. All that can come later.

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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...

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Steven Pressfield

In my experience, depth of work consists of two components. The first is recklessness; the second is discipline. Dionysian; Apollonian. Passion;reason.

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying. Why is this important? Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something...

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

Courage is inseparable from love and leads to what may arguably be the noblest of all warrior virtues: selflessness.

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Steven Pressfield

Figure out what scares you the most and do that first.

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Steven Pressfield

There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down...

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Steven Pressfield

It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.

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Steven Pressfield

You don't need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.

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Steven Pressfield

I believe in previous lives and the Muse—and that books and music exist before they are written and that they are propelled into material being by their own imperative to be born, via the offices of...

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The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it.

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Steven Pressfield

A work-in-progress generates its own energy field. You, the artist or entrepreneur, are pouring love into the work; you are suffusing it with passion and intention and hope.

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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These scars on my body,” Alexander declared, “were got for you, my brothers. Every wound, as you see, is in the front. Let that man stand forth from your ranks who has bled more than I, or endured...

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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.

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Someone once asked Somerset Maughham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. "Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock...

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I was keenly conscious of the comrades-in-arms who had fallen with me. A bond surpassing by a hundredfold that which I had known in life bound me to them. I felt a sense of inexpressible relief and realized...

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We show up. We do our best. Good things happen.

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Steven Pressfield

If you're are paralyzed with fear it's a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.

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Steven Pressfield

We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we're stuck with it.

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Steven Pressfield

If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.

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Put your ass where your heart wants to be.

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Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we're thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don't show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs...

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Long-term, we must begin to build our internal strengths. It isn't just skills like computer technology. It's the old-fashioned basics of self-reliance, self-motivation, self-reinforcement, self-discipline,...

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The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace...

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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.

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This man has conquered the world! What have you done?" The philosopher replied without an instant's hesitation, "I have conquered the need to conquer the world.

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Steven Pressfield

Fame Imperishable and glory that will never die -- that is what we march for!

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Steven Pressfield

We will have to choose between the life we want for our future and the life we have left behind.

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Steven Pressfield

Next morning I went over to Paul’s for coffee and told him I had finished. “Good for you,” he said without looking up. “Start the next one today.

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Steven Pressfield

We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.

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This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves....

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Steven Pressfield

The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.

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We’re all pros already. 1) We show up every day 2) We show up no matter what 3) We stay on the job all day 4) We are committed over the long haul 5) The stakes for us are high and real 6) We accept remuneration...

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Steven Pressfield

The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.

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The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.

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As all born teachers, he was primarily a student.

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The last thing we want is to remain as we are.

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Steven Pressfield

It's one thing to lie to ourselves. It's another thing to believe it.

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Steven Pressfield

Seeking support from friends and and family is like having people gathered around at your deathbed. It's nice, but when the ship sails, all they can do is stand on the dock waving goodbye.

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Steven Pressfield

The opposite of fear," Dienekes said, "is love.

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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...

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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...

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Steven Pressfield

Do you love your idea? Does it feel right on instinct? Are you willing to bleed for it?

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Steven Pressfield

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...

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Steven Pressfield

It may be that the human race is not ready for freedom. The air of liberty may be too rarefied for us to breathe... The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual...

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Nothing fires the warrior’s heart more with courage than to find himself and his comrades at the point of annihilation, at the brink of being routed and overrun, and then to dredge not merely from one’s...

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

Be too dumb to quit and too stubborn to back off.

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The hero wanders, the hero suffers, the hero returns. You are that hero.

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The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

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Don't wait for someone else to validate you. Validate yourself.

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We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we...

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Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or...

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Steven Pressfield

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%....

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Playing the game for money produces the proper professional attitude. It inculcates the lunch-pail state of mind that shows up for work despite rain or snow or dark of night and slugs it out day after...

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Steven Pressfield

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.

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Steven Pressfield

The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free...

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Steven Pressfield

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study... Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat...

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Steven Pressfield

Persian envoy "our arrows will black out the sun..." Dienekes of the Spartans.."Good, then we'll fight in the shade.

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Steven Pressfield

When we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen... Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.

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Steven Pressfield

Fear doesn't go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.

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Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

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Steven Pressfield

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. If we were born to paint, it’s our job to become a painter....

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Steven Pressfield

Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

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Steven Pressfield

To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.

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Steven Pressfield

Our greatest battle is to become ourselves, in the face of adversity.

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Steven Pressfield

Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do...

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Steven Pressfield

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...

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Steven Pressfield

Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?

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Steven Pressfield

Contempt for failure is our cardinal virtue.

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Steven Pressfield

A horse must be a bit mad to be a good cavalry mount, and its rider must be completely so.

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Steven Pressfield

A cavalryman's horse should be smarter than he is. But the horse must never be alowed to know this.

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Steven Pressfield

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.

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Steven Pressfield

Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie.

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Steven Pressfield

Ignorance and arrogance are the artist's and entrepreneur's indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be and cocky enough to believe she...

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Steven Pressfield

Don't cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you've got.

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Steven Pressfield

The essence of professionalism is the focus upon the work and its demands, while we are doing it, to the exclusion of all else.

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Steven Pressfield

The professional does not permit himself to become hidebound within one incarnation, however comfortable or successful. Like a transmigrating soul, he shucks his outworn body and dons a new one. He continues...

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Steven Pressfield

The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.

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Steven Pressfield

On the field of The Self stand a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.

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Steven Pressfield

The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

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Steven Pressfield

For what can be more noble than to slay oneself? Not literally. Not with a blade in the guts. But to extinguish the selfish self within, that part which looks only to its own preservation, to save its...

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Steven Pressfield

Start before you’re ready.

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Steven Pressfield

Those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.

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Steven Pressfield

If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to...

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Steven Pressfield

The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.

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Steven Pressfield

Cousin, the days of gods and heroes are over." "Not to me. Not to them.

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Steven Pressfield

When a warrior fights not for himself, but for his brothers, when his most passionately sought goal is neither glory nor his own life's preservation, but to spend his substance for them, his comrades,...

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Steven Pressfield

The Kabbalah describes angels as bundles of light, meaning intelligence, consciousness. Kabbalists believe that above every blade of grass is an angel crying "Grow! Grow!" ... I believe that above the...

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Steven Pressfield

The professional respects his craft. He does not consider himself superior to it. He recognizes the contributions of those who have gone before him. He apprentices himself to them.

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Steven Pressfield

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

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Steven Pressfield

The sign of the amateur is overglorification of and preoccupation with the mystery. The professional shuts up. She doesn't talk about it. She does her work.

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Steven Pressfield

The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her.

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Steven Pressfield

The professional learns to recognize envy-driven criticism and to take it for what it is: the supreme compliment. The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.

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Steven Pressfield

The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don't believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.

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Steven Pressfield

He who whets his steel, whets his courage

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Steven Pressfield

You have never tasted freedom, friend," Dienekes spoke, "or you would know it is purchased not with gold, but steel.

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Steven Pressfield

It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.

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Steven Pressfield

Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt.

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Steven Pressfield

Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. resistance is the enemy within.

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Steven Pressfield

Resistance by definition is self-sabotage.

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Steven Pressfield

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our...

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Steven Pressfield

...she (the artist, the writer) doesn't wait for inspiration, she acts in the anticipation of its apparition.

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Steven Pressfield

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%....

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Well, no. I was getting into trouble messing around with it for roles. So one night I went home, cut it down with a pair of scissors and then got in the bath and shaved it all off. I've never looked back.

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But Rhett, you mustn't bring me anything else so expensive. It's awfully kind of you, but I really couldn't accept anything else." "Indeed? Well, I shall bring you presents so long as it pleases me and...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss