Do the Work - Steven Pressfield

Title: Do the Work
Author: Steven Pressfield
Publisher: The Domino Project
Year: 2011
Pages: 112

The ideas presented in this book are worth hearing, using, and sharing. That much should be obvious from the simple fact that it's the second book published by The Domino Project, which is founded by Seth Godin (the first book published on the label was Poke the Box by Godin himself). According to its website, "The Domino Project is named after the domino effect - one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person," and this book lives up to that lofty ideal.

In this book, Steven Pressfield - who also wrote The War of Art and The Legend of Bagger Vance - attends to the task of challenging, inspiring, and motivating people to take action on the projects they've been putting off for any number of reasons. For Pressfield, those reasons all fall under the category of "Resistance."

Pressfield casts himself as the personal trainer for writers and other creative types. What Jillian Michaels is to the contestants on The Biggest Loser, he is to the readers of this book. I came across one reviewer who vividly commented, "Do the Work is like putting gasoline on the bonfire and handing you a match." I agree.

The genius in this book is the blunt, tactless approach that Pressfield takes in daring to name the "Resistance" that shows up any time we think about doing something new or different. Instead of moving forward, we fearfully wonder, "What if _________?" (insert your own potential negative consequence). Given the force of such unfounded fears, we deny our potential and put away our plans, pens, paint brushes, or pianos; we return to our status quo lives of predictable boredom, like Bill Murray's character in the movie "Ground Hog Day."

What the reader is offered in this short book (it takes about 1.5 hours to read the whole thing) is a simple strategy for recognizing the Resistance and slaying a knight taking down a fire-breathing dragon!

Imagine the possibilities, do the work, and keep moving forward.

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