Do the Work Book Summary - Do the Work Book explained in key points
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Do the Work summary

Gary John Bishop

The Official Unrepentant, Ass-Kicking, No-Kidding, Change-Your-Life Sidekick to Unfu*k Yourself

4.1 (46 ratings)
12 mins
Table of Contents

    Do the Work
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    Key idea 1 of 4

    No more excuses

    You don’t need a Blink to tell you that internal narratives are a powerful thing. But let’s take a closer look at what’s going on in your head, and consider the ways in which these thoughts might be standing in the way of personal growth.

    We all have individual traits or behaviors that we struggle to get rid of. These could be perceived shortcomings in character, specific emotions, or particular habits that others may seem to handle effortlessly. Often, we become acutely aware of these “dark spots” and, instead of addressing them, adjust our lives to avoid the potential disruptions they might cause. In doing so, we erect a fortress of excuses to shield ourselves from confronting these truths.

    Interestingly, this behavior isn't just about evasion. It's more like self-toleration: we passively acknowledge and accept our flaws – be they procrastination, a short temper, or over-politeness – and organize our entire lives around these unchallenged truths.

    For transformation to happen, this pattern of self-toleration must be disrupted. Imagine the possibilities if, instead of succumbing to the thought I'm a procrastinator, you actively challenged that belief? This aligns with Epictetus's wisdom: Identify who you wish to be, then act accordingly.

    To kickstart this introspection, there are a few things to consider.

    First, identify any traits you feel are “too much” in you – like I'm too passive.

    Second, explore areas where you feel you're lacking. For instance, I'm not confident enough.

    Finally, probe the justifications you've made to maintain your status quo.

    Reflect on which trait, when conquered, would be your personal victory flag – symbolizing genuine self-growth. Understanding this can shed light on your daily actions and choices. What consistent, new action could reflect this newfound mastery? And, when confronted with your habitual thoughts or behaviors, what alternative steps could you take instead?

    To put these ideas into practice, make written promises to yourself. Keep in mind that these promises aren’t set in stone – they can be redefined with changing needs and circumstances. But they should resemble personal contracts, with specific goals, deadlines, and challenges to fuel growth. 

    So embrace this paradigm shift, and start crafting your commitments.

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    What is Do the Work about?

    Do the Work (2019) is a guide that urges people to confront and overcome their self-imposed limitations in order to achieve personal transformation. Through actionable insights and transformative exercises, you can take control of your career and get on track for a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

    Who should read Do the Work?

    • Anyone looking for a nudge forward in life
    • People tired of the usual self-help platitudes
    • Procrastinators eager for a wake-up call

    About the Author

    Gary John Bishop is a best-selling author and personal development expert known for his no-nonsense approach to self-help. Hailing from Scotland, he gained widespread recognition with his book Unfu*k Yourself, which blends tough love with actionable advice, and emphasizes the importance of self-accountability in achieving your goals.

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