How to act like Keyser Söze, Steven Pressfield… and my wife.

Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 10.28.00 PM

Mrs. Red Angle has entered a 90-Day challenge at the gym.

She’s into it.


Planning meals.

Weighing food.

Eliminating (gasp) alcohol.

Hitting the gym at 5:30 am three times a week.


She’s doing great.

She’s happy.


Although my wife has a nearly unblemished record of ignoring any book I’ve ever bought for her, I’m trying again.

I bought her The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.


It’s a book about rationalization and will.


The rationalization is identifying, understanding, accepting, and confronting Resistance – the part of ourselves that holds us back from doing the work necessary to accomplish our goals.  Resistance is stealthy and creative and brutal as it convinces us to delay, distract and/or dissolve our dreams.


Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 10.32.40 PM


Resistance is like Keyser Söze in the classic movie, The Usual Suspects.


The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.


I bought my wife The War of Art because once she recognizes Resistance for what it is – that it exists – she will be one step closer to overcoming it.

Resistance is resilient.

The battle must be waged every day.


Especially when the alarm buzzes at 5:08 on a Wednesday morning.


Besting Resistance comes from will.

The will to square up and fight… to throw a series of pre-dawn haymakers.


It’s like Roger “Verbal” Kint in The Usual Suspects as he describes the doomed gang of Hungarians who challenge Söze.


They realized that to be in power, you didn’t need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn’t.





Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (, a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish (and a bit of Polish…) language gap in the construction industry.    

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