Steven Pressfield Quotes

60 of the best book quotes from Steven Pressfield
“That our project has crashed is not a reflection of our worth as human beings. It’s just a mistake. It’s a problem – and a problem can be solved.”
″ The only items you get to keep are love for the work, will to finish, and passion to serve the ethical, creative Muse.”
“Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare. Begin.”
“The problem with friends and family is that they know us as we are. They are invested in maintaining us as we are. The last thing we want is to remain as we are.”
″ Figure out where you want to go; then work backwards from there.”
″ When we are succeeding — that is, when we have overcome our self-doubt and self-sabotage, when we are advancing in our craft and evolving to a higher level.”
“Courage begets more courage.”
″ When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion.”
“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.”
″ If you and I want to do great stuff, we can’t let ourselves work small.”
“When we experience panic, it means that we’re about to cross a threshold.”
“When an idea pops into our head and we think, ‘No, this is too crazy,’ that’s the idea we want.”
“Ideas come according to their own logic. That logic is not rational. It’s not linear. We may get the middle before we get the end. We may get the end before we get the beginning. Be ready for this. Don’t resist it.”
″ We can never eliminate Resistance. It will never go away. But we can outsmart it, and we can enlist allies that are as powerful as it is.”
“Fear doesn’t go away.”
“Our greatest fear is fear of success.”
“Research can become resistance. We want to work, not prepare for work.”
″ I stand in awe of anyone who hatches a dream and who shows the guts to hang tough, all alone, and see it through to reality.”
“Act, reflect. Act, reflect. NEVER act and reflect at the same time.”
″ If you’ve got a head, you’ve got a voice of Resistance inside it.”
“Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
“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.”
“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”
“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don’t do it.”
“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.”
“Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.”
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good.”
“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.”
“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 death.”
“Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
“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.”
“We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity.”
“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. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
“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, and humiliation.”
“You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.”
“There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.”
“A king does not abide within his tent while his men bleed and die upon the field. A king does not dine while his men go hungry, nor sleep when they stand at watch upon the wall. A king does not command his men’s loyalty through fear nor purchase it with gold; he earns their love by the sweat of his own back and the pains he endures for their sake.”
“Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie.”
“That which comprises the harshest burden, a king lifts first and sets down last. A king does not require service of those he leads but provides it to them...A king does not expend his substance to enslave men, but by his conduct and example makes them free.”
“We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.”
“War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble.”
“That, I saw, was the victory you Spartans had gained over yourselves. That was the glue. It was what you had learned and it made me stay, to learn it too.”
“Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance.”
“The hardship of the exercises is intended less to strengthen the back than to toughen the mind.”
“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 own skin. ”
“The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has its legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.”
“You have never tasted freedom, friend,” Dienekes spoke, “or you would know it is purchased not with gold, but steel.”
“He who whets his steel, whets his courage”
“Persian envoy “our arrows will black out the sun...” Dienekes of the Spartans..“Good, then we’ll fight in the shade.”
“This, I realized now watching Dienekes rally and tend to his men, was the role of the officer: to prevent those under this command, at all stages of battle--before, during and after--from becoming “possessed.” To fire their valor when it flagged and rein in their fury when it threatened to take them out of hand. ”
“That was Dienekes’ job. That was why he wore the transverse-crested helmet of an officer. His was not, I could see now, the heroism of an Achilles. He was not a superman who waded invulnerably into the slaughter, single-handedly slaying the foe by myriads.”
“He was just a man doing a job. A job whose primary attribute was self-restraint and self-composure, not for his own sake, but for those whom he led by his example.”
“Habit will be your champion. When you train the mind to think one way and one way only, when you refuse to allow it to think in another, that will produce great strength in battle.”
“You are the commanders, your men will look to you and act as you do. Let no officer keep to himself or his brother officers, but circulate daylong among his men. Let them see you and see you unafraid.”
“Where there is work to do, turn your hand to it first; the men will follow. Some of you, I see, have erected tents. Strike them at once. We will all sleep as I do, in the open. Keep your men busy. ”
“If there is no work, make it up, for when soldiers have time to talk, their talk turns to fear. Action, on the other hand, produces the appetite for more action.”
“Fear conquers fear. This is how we Spartans do it, counterpoising to fear of death a greater fear: that of dishonor. Of exclusion from the pack.”
“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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