Do The Work By Steven Pressfield - Summary and Review

Do The Work is a book written by Steven Pressfield. It is about winning over the so called "Resistance" and getting work done.

Do the Work - Steven Pressfield
Do the Work


What's Resistance?
Resistance is anything that stops you from getting work done and one that favors instant gratification over long term goals:  fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, distraction, timidity, ego and narcissism, self-loathing, perfectionism, etc.

Along with Resistance, we have few more enemies - rational thought, family and friends who prefer you to be as you are now.

On contrary, our friends are stupidity(to start), stubbornness(to not stop), blind faith, passion, Assistance(as opposed to Resistance), friends and family who love you despite your loss of fame or money.

Start before you are ready.

Research Diet : Don't end up in research forever. We can always dig deeper as and when needed.

Stay primitive and swing for the seats(dream big).

The three acts structure of screenwriting : break down your project into three acts.

Rewrite later.

Start at the end and work backwards - End, Beginning and the Middle Acts.

The universe isn't indifferent. It is actively hostile.

Fill the gaps and do research now.

Act, don't reflect. Momentum is everything.
No self judgement.
The crazier the better.
Note down all the non-linear ideas.

Process: Act and then reflect(evaluate), but not both at the same time.

The universe is so actively benevolent.
Your idea and work attracts similar ideas and gains momentum of it's own.

Keep working: momentum matters.
Act, reflect. Fill in the gaps. Keep working.
Things get rolling and then we hit the Wall.

The enemy within us - The "Resistance You" needs to be fought by the actual You.
This is where we are tested:
How bad do you want it?
Why do you want it?

Attitude adjustment- Leave behind ego, fear, hope, anger, impatience and sense of entitlement.

The big crashes are a sign that we need to grow and creative panic is a sign that we are growing.

The problem is not us, the problem is the Problem. Don't take it personally.
Work the Problem.

Rewrite again.

If we can't finish, all our work is for nothing.
When we ship, we are exposed. But once is all that is needed, fear won't have power over you again.
Ship it.

Once you deliver it, you are done.

Start again before you are ready.


This is a short book of about a hundred pages with bold quotes covering half of the book. If you have read "The Art of War" by Steven Pressfield, this book is redundant. It almost re-iterates the same points over and over again. 

It has few good insights about fighting off the Resistance and getting work done. Most of the book is written in the perspective of screenwriting, but the principles are applicable to other fields of work too.  Perhaps when you are all being "To be or not to be?", you can pick this book up for some quick motivation.

TL;DR: Just Do It. 
Rating : 3/5



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