Search Results: resistance

Resistance and Self-Loathing

By Steven Pressfield |

Hang on while I make the case that self-loathing is a good thing. I don’t mean only within the comedic-material sphere, within which self-loathing has been mined for years by Woody Allen, Howard Stern, Richard Lewis, and the godfather of them all, Philip Roth in Portnoy’s Complaint. What exactly is self-loathing? It appears almost always as that nasty, brutal voice in our heads. “You’re a loser, you’re a bum, a worthless waste of oxygen. Look at you. Do you imagine that someone like you could produce something original, something of quality, something that anyone else would care about? What ideas…

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Resistance Comes Second

By Steven Pressfield |

A thought to remember when we wake up each morning and confront anew that dastardly dragon: Resistance comes second. The Dream comes first. The dream of whatever work or enterprise or endeavor you and I are called to. Resistance is the shadow cast by that dream. Resistance is the equal-and-opposite-reaction of nature to the New Thing that you and I are called to bring forth out of nothing. There would be no Resistance without the Dream. The Dream comes first. Resistance follows. The other thing to keep in mind is that Resistance’s strength is equal to the power of the…

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Narcissism and Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

I’m aware that there’s an official definition of narcissism in the Psychiatric Handbook. The following is my unofficial definition—and a theory of how narcissism comes about in the first place. Narcissism is self-iconization. To control our internal terror, insecurity, etc., one mode of coping is to erect an icon in our minds. This icon might be a mentor, a role model, a guru. It might be a lover or a parent, a teacher, a coach. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Sometimes it’s healthy. It’s a stage in the progression toward independence and self-command. When we set someone up…

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Resistance and Addiction

By Steven Pressfield |

Earlier this year, the “Writing Wednesdays” name was switched to “Do the Work Wednesdays” for the release of the book Do the Work. This post went up May 11, 2011, soon after the book’s release. The comments that followed inspired other posts about addiction—and this reposting today. Have you ever noticed that addicts are often extremely interesting people? Addiction itself is excruciatingly boring, in that it’s so predictable. The lies, the evasions, the transparent self-justification and self-exoneration. But the addict is himself often a colorful and engrossing person. If he has been a substance abuser for any length of time, his story…

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Resistance and Addiction

By Steven Pressfield |

Have you ever noticed that addicts are often extremely interesting people? Addiction itself is excruciatingly boring, in that it’s so predictable. The lies, the evasions, the transparent self-justification and self-exoneration. But the addict himself is often a colorful and compelling person. His story reads like a novel, packed with drama, intrigue, conflict and heartbreak. If the addict’s drug of choice is alcohol, the narrative is frequently one of job loss, domestic abuse, divorce, abandonment of children, bankruptcy. If Class One narcotics are the culprit, the tale often includes crime, the law, violence, even death. Of course we fallible mortals can…

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Resistance Tomorrow

By Steven Pressfield |

I just came in from getting my stuff ready for the gym tomorrow–packing my bag, loading up my gear, leaving it in the car. It got me thinking about one of the most useful books I’ve ever read, Dr. Robert Cialdini‘s Influence. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. In the book, Dr. Cialdini lays out seven proven ways to influence other people–in other words, to get them to do what we want them to do. One way, for example, is the Principle of Reciprocity. If Joe does X for me, I will feel an obligation to do…

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The Opposite of Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

Here’s a subtle but crucial point for us to hold in mind as we slog through the trench warfare of the artist’s journey, battling Resistance every step of the way. Remember: Resistance arises second. What comes first is the idea, the passion, the work we are so excited to create that it scares the shit out of us. Resistance is the response of the frightened, petty, small-time ego to the brave, generous, magnificent impulse of the creative self. Resistance is the shadow cast by the innovative self’s sun. What does this mean to us, as we duel our demons? It…

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Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk

By Steven Pressfield |

I was in the middle of writing Eat, Pray, Love, and I fell into one of those sort of pits of despair … [and] I started to think I should just dump this project. But then I remembered Tom [Waits] talking to the open air [when inspiration for a song hit him while he was driving on the freeway and had no way to record it] and I tried it. So I just lifted my face up from the manuscript and I directed my comments to an empty corner of the room. And I said aloud, “Listen you, thing, you and I both know that if this book isn’t…

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The Unlived Life

By Steven Pressfield |

I started The War of Art with this thought:

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First Drafts are Killers

By Steven Pressfield |

You could join the Foreign Legion. You could cross Antarctica on foot.

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