In the book, Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Steven Pressfield shares his inspiration and techniques to help us make the life-altering transformation.
These are some of my favorite takeaways from reading the book.
When we commit to putting our ass where our heart wants to be, that sort of commitment requires us to make changes in our behavior.
We need to commit ourselves to a space. The space is a fixed place where we come to do our work.
We need to commit ourselves to a time. We show up on time and remain working till the end of the work time.
“The goodness doesn’t just want to know where we are. She wants to know what time we start and what hour we finish. How can she come to our aid if she doesn’t know where and when to find us?”
We need to commit to a level of concentration. When we work with our heart, we also exclude everything that is not about our work and our heart.
We need to commit to a level of aspiration. Every field of work has examples of individual who performs at the highest level. We will aspire to follow the standards and perform at the highest level possible.
We need to commit without a plan B. How would we answer the question, “How did you keep going all those years without success?” Our answer should be, “For this work, I had to keep going.”
We need to commit even when it is bogus. Many things we do in life can be described as a sausage. It is just another link, and we are here to grind it out. However, that does not mean we should stop giving our all to make the best sausage possible.
Every project does not have to be “(fill in the best movie, best book, best whatever).” It is OK to work on “B” movies and “C” projects, as long as we do our absolute best and keep our eyes on the prize of producing our best material.
We need to commit to no distractions. When we do our work, we will not turn our attention to anything that is not happening inside our demented selves, barring a nuclear attack or a family emergency.
When the end of work time comes, we stop. When we are tired, we stop. As artists, we are playing a long game for tomorrow.
If we see our family or friends, we never discuss what we are working on. We politely deflect any queries and let things rest. We don’t obsess. We don’t worry. We don’t second-guess what we did today.
“The office is closed.”
The last thing we should do at the end of the day is mentally preparing for the fight tomorrow. We are playing the long game. We are inculcating habit. We are deepening our practice and our commitment day by day.
In other words, we are training and reinforcing ourselves every day.