Steven Pressfield interview

Couple weeks ago I came across an interview series at Lateral Action Blog. At the time there were two interviews one with Jason Fried of 37 Signals and second with Steven Pressfield which really caught my attention.

Steven Pressfield is well known author of novels with background in WWII. He also writes about ancient strategies of waging war campaigns. In addition he is the author of “War of Art” which is one of the most popular books on dealing with creativity and resistance.

Below are quick notes form listening the audio:

Your fate is in your hands.

This sounds like an obvious thing but it’s easy to let it go. It’s easy to switch to a reactive mode where you let other people – parents, bosses, spouses -  tell you what is that you need/should/ought to do. It may seem like a great option but have a think. Whose interest those people have in mind is it yours or theirs?

Be professional and approach life from the professional perspective.

There is something uplifting and encouraging when you look at yourself and world around you from the perspective of professional. Regardless of where you work and what you do keeping that attitude will always result in something positive.

Traits of Professionals (minute 20 -22)

  • patience, puts hours of work to build something.
  • accept adversity and don’t associate personality with business.
  • splits himself into two – one is the owner, another is the worker.
  • don’t give up.

I found this hugely insightful especially in the context of rejection. It’s not you that is being rejected it might be your offering or the person might have a bad day and say no to everybody. Separating the two gives you space, a buffer zone so you can keep sane even it things aren’t going where you wanted. Other important virtue is patience, in today’s world we expect to get instant gratification and results. Building business is not that straightforward you need to put real effort into your venture to succeed. 

Power of one hour a day – devote one a day and build your success.

An old proverb  says that 1000mile journey starts with one step. Sometimes it may be hard to see the progress but by putting that one hour a day over the time things will change and move in the direction you want. It’s very similar with “snowball effect” first it’s small and insignificant but over time it grows and makes difference. So putting that one hour a day may seem like nothing but over time it will yield results bigger than you thought.

Don’t need to neglect/quit that day job, just focus on what can do.

Often times pursuing our passions seems like we need to leave everything behind, quit day job etc. This may not be necessary or practical especially if you’re just starting. Simply focus on what can you do that brings you closer to your passion, spend that one hour a day doing that and see what happens.

Making important changes in life is like turning a battleship it’s slow and takes time.

Again with increasing speed of life we tend to expect the results now. We want instant gratification and if it’s not there we abandon the idea and look for some thing else. But important life changes take time and are often times slow, very slow. Although you may have impression that some people lives change in an instant just have a look closer, if you can talk to them see how it really was.


These notes are filtered through my views and interests. I picked up those things because seemed important to me. Yet I’m pretty sure you’ll find something interesting for yourself.

Please head to Lateral Action page to get the full interview there.

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