Book Review: Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

“On the field of the Self stand a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.” -Steven Pressfield. 

Let’s face it, we all are born with the potential for greatness. One might have the capability to lead multitudes. Another can produce so much profit from businesses serially created. Still, someone else can produce great works of art in terms of literature, painting, and music. 

From the moment we are born,  we have this seed of power living within us. And yet… 

Not everyone achieves or reaches their full potential. Of course, we can blame all the circumstances that surround this inability. It could be bad parents. Or maybe poverty. And it could be an environment that does not nurture the child to be the best kind of individual. 

Then again, it is the individual’s choice if he or she can indeed reach that potential. And what stops us all from reaching this potential is not our environment or lack of resources. It is us giving in to RESISTANCE. 

This is the main lesson from Steven Pressfield’s book “Do the Work.”  In it, he talks about what stops us from being what we are meant to be. And for him, it is resistance. 

According to him, resistance comes when we take in …

“Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.”

He also says this also takes into account …

“Any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.”

And the more we read this book, the more we realize how powerful resistance takes hold in our lives. 

Think about it. When we start businesses or other entrepreneurial ventures, resistance is there to stop us. It is there when we try to follow a creative pursuit. And whenever we think of any political, moral, or ethical duty that demands our courage to act with our better half, RESISTANCE rears its ugly head.  

It manifests outwardly from the forces that keep us from achieving our goals. And it also comes out when deep within us we find goals that matter. 

According to the book, resistance comes to us in the work that we do … 

Before we start our work. Have you ever wondered why it’s easier to make excuses before we do a task? That is because resistance wants you to stop before ever beginning your task at hand. Resistance makes it a point that what we are supposed to do does not matter. That what we are and what we do don’t mean a thing. 

While we are in the middle of our work. We can all agree that work will never be easy. Resistance takes a cue on this. After all, with resistance, we self-sabotage the work that we are meant to do. 

When we finish our work. Work isn’t actually finished with the ending of a task. The task needs to be tallied or evaluated. It has to be seen. And because resistance is right there trying to sabotage everything, it leaves us with thoughts that stop us from letting our work see the light of day.

Oh, it is never easy to fight resistance. But we have to understand that it is part of living. And we have to realize that when we overcome it, we become champions. Not only for ourselves, but for others with their own struggles with resistance. 

So as a group that understands the power of personal growth and development, we came to realize the power of resistance. We came to understand, through this book, that it can be overcome. 

And we realize the following things…

Firstly, we have to be aware of resistance. We should know its power. That it is inevitable in each and everyone’s lives. That everyone, from the mighty to the small, struggles with facing it every day. 

Knowing this, we then can find ways to overcome it. And to do that, we should …

Secondly, take action. It is not enough to be aware. We have to act, move, and gain momentum.

As we create the movement that will inevitably lead us to our goals, we then see resistance being removed along the way. It is this action that enables us to achieve what we must and surpass the strains of resistance. 

Finally, we have to be vigilant. We have to be continually watchful of resistance taking over us. After all, resistance only ends when our lives are taken. 

Thus, we continue doing what we can. When we are mindful of the paths we take, we are clear in what we do. 

Steven Pressfield knows this himself. He has faced resistance in all forms. And in his writing, both fiction and non-fiction, you can see stories and concepts that help us overcome resistance. 

In “Do The Work,” we become aware of the devastating power of resistance. And with this understanding, we can take advantage of it and succeed.  

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