"Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be" by Steven Pressfield

Review by Borodutch

I'm so tired of these bullshit motivational "books" that should have been an article. I'm even more tired of "quirks" of such books like added music or misnaming chapters "books." No, Steven, every chapter of this book isn't a separate book, no matter what you think.

Here're the main ideas the author is trying to communicate:

  • Physically move to a city with many people in your craft and a nurturing environment for the career you are trying to pursue.
  • Make sure you're "all-in" committing to your dream; this includes selecting the right people for your friends.
  • Separate your outside life from your work on the dream life; this can be a separate space to create and where you can extract yourselves from everyday distractions.
  • Make sure to do retros on your actions and progress, and keep working no matter what; if something doesn't work, change the approach — and when something does work, keep doing it.
  • Publicize your work, and don't leave out the marketing and PR; "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
  • There is also a lot of bullshit on higher planes of existence, karma, gods, and other esoteric ideas suggested by the author: "If you do the work, the universe will reward you." This is classic survivorship bias — you don't account for the people who did the work but got nothing from it.

Boom, I've saved you a few hours of reading the book. And contrary to the author, I haven't insulted you once! I'm not exactly sure who are the people leaving 5-star reviews to this sadistic longer-than-needed self-help book that essentially suggests a "yeah, just go do it" attitude as an antidote to everything wrong in one's career.

Do yourselves a favor; read something useful instead.