I always look to the best when I want inspiration. Steven Pressfield, as far as I’m concerned, is the greatest living writer. When I need inspiration I read Steven Pressfield, whether it’s The War of Art or Turning Pro or The Warrior Ethos.
I don’t need to read much. I can read a paragraph or a sentence or a page of his writing and feel inspired because he’s that good. I can read just a sliver of his writing and that inspires me to think for myself and then I’m back in the fight.
Steven Pressfield is a writer so that’s one thing that inspires me, but I look at the most elite performers of all time. Take Mikhail Baryshnikov, for example. If you just read a little bit about him or if you watch a performance of his on YouTube, in about two seconds you get why he’s the greatest of all time.
Or I’ll look at an athlete like Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, a great basketball player like Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. I look at them and how they prepare for a game, how they compete when they have a 103-degree temperature and that inspires me to go forth.
I also think of the greatest warriors of all time, like General George S. Patton. He’s been a huge inspiration to me through watching movies about him or short clips of him. I’m always looking at the best. And you know what? The discipline doesn’t matter. You could look at Navy SEALs, Green Berets or the Special Forces. You can see, read and think about the training they must go through to do what they do, and the minute you see them with your own eyes—what they put their bodies through—you go, “If a human being can do that, I can do it.”
If Usain Bolt can do that, I can do it. If Mikhail Baryshnikov can inspire an audience like that—he’s only a man—I can do it too. That’s how I inspire myself. Rarely do I look at those who are second best or mediocre. They don’t inspire me because I don’t think they inspire themselves. I don’t think they’re true to their nature.
I always look at the performers, writers and athletes who are true to their own nature. They’re unapologetic about their expression and THAT’s what gets me going for that minute or that hour or that day. Once I see some kind of performance or read a few sentences, I’m good to go. I know what I’m here to do.
The biggest problem with being the best and being on this journey is we constantly have to be reminded of our commitments and that we were born to be the best. You have to look at the best to inspire yourself to be the best.
I told you how I do it. Now, tell me how do you do it?