Steven Pressfield Quotes

Steven Pressfield (born September 1943) is an American author, of historical fiction and non-fiction, and screenplays.

Read more about this author on Wikipedia

Steven Pressfield


The only intercourse possible between the knight and the dragon is battle.

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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.

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The problem I've always discovered in my own work when this kind of thing happens when you hit the wall is there's almost always a reason. You've almost always made a mistake in the initial conception of the project. You misapprehended something or you thought something would work and now you're three quarters on the way through and you see that it doesn't work.

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The professional does not permit himself to become hidebound within one incarnation, however comfortable or successful. Like a transmigrating soul, he shucks his outworn body and dons a new one. He continues his journey.

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There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us. Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours.

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These are not easy questions. Who am I? Why am I here? They're not easy because the human being isn't wired to function as an individual.

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These scars on my body," Alexander declared, "were got for you, my brothers. Every wound, as you see, is in the front. Let that man stand forth from your ranks who has bled more than I, or endured more than I for your sake. Show him to me, and I will yield to your weariness and go home." Not a man came forward. Instead, a great cheer arose from the army. The men begged their king to forgive them for their want of spirit and pleaded with him only to lead them forward.

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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.

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Those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.

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To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.

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We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in.

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We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. 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. 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.

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We show up. We do our best. Good things happen.

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We will have to choose between the life we want for our future and the life we have left behind.

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We're all pros already. 1) We show up every day 2) We show up no matter what 3) We stay on the job all day 4) We are committed over the long haul 5) The stakes for us are high and real 6) We accept remuneration for our labor 7) We do not overidentify with our jobs 8 ) We master the technique of our jobs 9) We have a sense of humor about our jobs 10) We receive praise or blame in the real world

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