4 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Four: “Add a Step to It”

Spartan quips and Spartan swords were notoriously short.

The story goes that a young warrior remarked on this stubbiness the first time his mother handed him this weapon.

Her reply?

“Add a step to it.”

Meaning, Get that much closer to the enemy.

In today’s video, we explore the clipped, laconic speech of the ancient Spartans and tell the tale of their famous one-word response to a king who threatened to invade their country.

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here


  1. Zack on August 27, 2020 at 6:28 am


  2. Barbara L. Newton-Holmes on August 27, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Love these talks!!

  3. Joe on August 27, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Just one word: “If.”

    Great way to close it.

  4. Terry Weaver on August 27, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Very good! Motivating, I just started writing a new book yesterday. These are giving me fuel. Thanks! S/F

  5. Brian Nelson on August 27, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Dear Steve,
    These are simply fantastic. In fact, as much as George Guidall is one of my FAVORITE narrators–I wonder if you’d ever consider re-publishing the War of Art in your voice? As many of your books I’ve read/listened to, blog posts I’ve read–I know your voice. There is something even more powerful when we hear your spoken word than simply your written word. I think I actually hear you speaking when I read–but these videos reminded me how much I prefer your books read by you.

    I’ve watched the first few of these from my phone will walking the dogs and never noticed there was a comments section. I’ve been meaning to forward these emails to all my buddies knowing these videos might resonate more with my friends than the usual blog posts.

    I will send them out today for sure. This will be such a great way to bring more people into the tribe. I’ve ‘met’, simply from the comments people have made 2 people with whom I now consider very good friends. I have never met these them in person, but the interactions started from comments to comments…then an email or social media/website inquiry, to now a regular exchange via text/email/phone calls.

    My long-winded point? This is what social media is supposed to be. Find a group of people with whom you share values/ideals–then learn & exchange from them. There are millions of people out there who are fans–they just haven’t been introduced to your work, this place.

    Lastly, I am again so grateful for your service. Your willingness to do something of value/instruction in these precarious times.

    • Steven Pressfield on August 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      You can get it read by me, Brian. How about that? Here’s the Audible.com link: https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=the+war+of+art+steven+pressfield&ref=a_hp_t1_header_search

      But we also have it, read by me, on http://www.blackirishbooks.com.

      Thanks for asking. All me best, mate! Steve

      • Brian Nelson on August 30, 2020 at 9:22 pm

        Thanks Steve! I got the Audible version, and have already listened to a few chapters.

        I do prefer to listen to it with you as the narrator. I think non-fiction should be read by the author, but probably not fiction.

        • Jet on October 19, 2020 at 6:13 am


    • Joe on August 30, 2020 at 5:22 am

      Brian… other excellent narrators are Stefan Rudnicki (first heard him narrating “Revolutionary Summer” by Joseph J. Ellis), Will Patton (narrates most of James Lee Burke), and John Lee (a compelling narration of Steve’s “The Afghan Campaign”). Hearing an author read his own stuff brings another layer of depth… they can bring inflection that illuminates beyond what the words themselves can do. I’m glad to have this audio version (and the interview at the end there).

  6. Larry Keeton on August 27, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you for doing these great stories!
    And, thank you for talking about the women in a “warrior culture” first. As a retired senior Army officer who commanded units that deployed, my wife was instrumental in keeping the faith among the other spouses. Naturally, she wasn’t alone, but she stepped up to the plate more times than not. I’ve met other spouses in the military, law enforcement, teaching, medical fields who have the same challenges and do the job because it needs to be done!
    The children fall into the same category. They live with the uncertainty of a parent in this type of environment. It’s not always easy, but they manage.
    Again, thanks for your videos. They are amazing and entertaining to watch.
    Warmest Regards,

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