Steven Pressfield on Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Part 6

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.

Steven Pressfield on Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Part 5

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.

Up to this point, Steve has been talking about making the commitment. But “put your ass” is not a short, one-time endeavor. This concept applies lifelong.

When we commit to “put our ass,” the duration of the journey can be long, repetitive, and never-ending. Consider the passage in the book from James Rhodes, the concert pianist.

Steve lists some of the accomplished artists in the book and compares them to the statement of “going the distance.” We will find… “When you and I put our ass where our heart wants to be, we do it for keeps. We’re in it to the end of the line.”

Just like those accomplished artists, we have a body of work, too. For most of us, that body of work exists inside us, just waiting for us to bring it out to the world. These bodies of work exist as alternative futures. If we choose not to commit over a long haul, that body of work may exist only in our imagination.

So, can we put our ass where our hearts want to be if we have a family, a job, and a mortgage? “Yes,” says Steve.

The Muse does not count hours. She counts commitment. We can commit to a smaller time slice, but our commitment needs to be consistent. We can add up our work and commitment drip by drip.

At some point, the practice of our vocation moves from being a challenge that we must step up and accept to becoming simply… our life.

Like a mother raising her children or a farmer tending his crops, the commitment becomes who we are and what we do.

Steven Pressfield on Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Part 4

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.

Steve talks about commitment also equals exposure. To be “exposed” means to be in a position where we can fall off a mountain, possibly a long way, and possibly to death.

Commitment is the act of moving from the “Known” to the “Unknown.” But something unknown is also scary to humans.

When Steve says, “Put your ass where your heart wants to be,” he proposes a mindset designed to outfox Fear of the Unknown. We need to remember:

“Don’t try to overcome your fear. Fear cannot be overcome. Instead simply move your body into the physical space you fear… and see what happens.”

While fear is the negative face of commitment, the positive face of commitment is self-empowerment. The very act of “putting our ass where our heart wants to be” makes a profound impression on those we wish to work with and on ourselves.

We change when we commit. We see ourselves differently; sometimes, those we are unaware of see us differently. They may come to our aid in ways we could never have anticipated.

Another thing we know is that the universe is self-ordering. Many endeavors in life are self-ordering too. Our symphony-in-the-works evolves into four movements. Our screenplay orders itself into three acts.

If we keep plugging away at it, the Law of Self-Ordering can come to our aid. The work, from day-in and day-out exertion and concentration, produces progress and order.

That is a law of the universe.

Steven Pressfield on Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Part 3

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.

Steve talks about the word “ass” in the physical sense, but it also has a metaphorical meaning. “Ass” means commitment.

As in, “His ass is on the line.” Or “If she screws this up, it’ll be her ass.”

Putting our ass “where our heart wants to be” means we will “commit emotionally, psychologically, spiritually to our dreams.”

While relocating to a new physical location might be essential for working on our dreams, it is even more critical that we put our asses in the proper place metaphorically.

When we commit, we signal to those established professionals who might hire, mentor, or promote us, a newly arrived aspirant. The newcomer has demonstrated commitment. He is here. He has left there.

All that matter is that we have taken action. We are here to do the work, and we have left other baggage behind while we are here.

Commitment is not a one-time deal. We want to demonstrate commitment over time. We also want to show commitment in the face of adversity.

There are questions we can ask ourselves:

“How much do we want it?”

“What sacrifices are we willing to make to see this project succeed?”

“Have we ‘moved’ – lock, stock, and barrel – to our inner Paris?”

Sometimes it takes another person to believe in us. When we got lost or started to flounder, that person seized our ass and dragged it back to where our heart wanted to be.

We need to treasure those people in our lives.

Steven Pressfield on Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Part 2

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.

Magic can happen when we move to the same physical location with other dreamers who have already put their asses there.

These dreamers are our peers and fellow aspirants. We get to discuss techniques and trade notes with them. None of the group synergies could happen if we all stayed home.

Another reason to consider relocating is to where our dream work needs to happen. When we move our material ass to the geographic site of our dreams, our peers and potential mentors might think, This person is serious. She has committed. She has burned the boats. She is one of us.

How does success really happen? Keep working.

Reason One: “Working means you’re getting paid. Every buck means you’re a working pro.” This also means we are toiling in our chosen field.

Reason Two: “When you work, you learn. Everybody has something to teach you.” Everyone we meet in our chosen field will likely have something we can learn from.

Reason Three: “You’re making friends.” We never know who we work with today might be a connection to something even more significant or meaningful down the road.

But before this network of friends and mentors can help us up the ladder, we must be there where they are.

Steven Pressfield on Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, Part 1

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.

First and foremost, what does Steve mean when he says, “Put your ass where your heart wants to be?” He suggests we must station our physical body where our dream work will and must happen.

Want to program a computer? Sit down at the keyboard.

Want to paint? Step up before the easel.

Want to dance? Get our butt into the rehearsal studio.

Why is this simple advice so hard to do? Fear!

Fear will always be with us, so there is no way to eliminate it. The only thing we can do to counter the fear is to do the work. “Tremendous power lies in the simple, physical act of stationing our body at the epicenter of our dream.”

Sometimes, “Put Your Ass…” might mean a new physical location.

Want to work in country music? Consider Nashville, TN.

Want to act in movies? Consider Hollywood, CA.

Steve says, “Leave the Town or city where you live and move to the hub of the creative or entrepreneurial world where your dreams are most likely to come true.”

Another reason to relocate is to work with the people whom we can learn from. Role models and knowledgeable friends are what we all learn from. Those are the people we watch and copy.

For some fields, we might have to move because the new location is where the industry pros and masters congregate. Sometimes it is not for our hearts to be in the right place. Our body must be there too.