Steven Pressfield Quotes

Who is Steven Pressfield?

Steven Pressfield is an American author of historical fiction, non-fiction and screenplays known for The War of Art.

Born September 01, 1943

Books by Steven Pressfield


Best 30 Quotes by Steven Pressfield

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.”

Do the Work Quotes

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”

Do the Work

“Start before you're ready.”

Do the Work

“Stay stupid. Follow your unconventional, crazy heart.”

Do the Work

“The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it.”

Do the Work

The War of Art Quotes

“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it.”

The War of Art

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That's a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

The War of Art

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.”

The War of Art

“Fear doesn't go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”

The War of Art

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

The War of Art

“It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is resistance.”

The War of Art

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. ”

The War of Art

“Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?”

The War of Art

“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”

The War of Art

Products by Steven Pressfield

“Resistance by definition is self-sabotage.”

The War of Art

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”

The War of Art

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“Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.”

The Bhagavad Gita


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“The artist and the mother are vehicles, not originators. They don't create the new life, they only bear it. This is why birth is such a humbling experience. The new mom weeps in awe at the little miracle in her arms. She knows it came out of her but not from her, through her but not of her.”

The War of Art

“The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don't believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”

The War of Art

“The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.”

The War of Art

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”

The War of Art

“The opposite of love isn't hate; it's indifference.”

The War of Art

“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.”

The War of Art

“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”

The War of Art

“The professional learns to recognize envy-driven criticism and to take it for what it is: the supreme compliment. The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.”

The War of Art

“The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her.”

The War of Art

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

The War of Art

“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.”

The War of Art

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”

The War of Art

Products by Steven Pressfield

“What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead. I was developing symptoms. As soon as I sat down and began, I was okay.”

The War of Art

“You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study... Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I'll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.”

The War of Art

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“What I 'discovered' was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”


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