Steven Pressfield

Fuck the Marshmallows

I love marshmallows and wouldn't mind sleeping on a bed made out of them or playing with them in bed. 

I love marshmallows and wouldn't mind sleeping on a bed made out of them or playing with them in bed. 

I wish I could say I came up with the three words in this post's title, but it was Steven Pressfield. In his latest book, Turning Pro - Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work, he uses these three words to make the point that the work we do in the world isn't about the marshmallows (i.e., the rewards of our labor) it's about the labor itself. He tells the story of a researcher who ran an experiment that had children sit in front of one yummy marshmallow. If they were able to wait for three minutes and not eat the marshmallow while the researcher was outside the room, they would be rewarded with two marshmallows when he returned.

So what does this story illustrate and what do marshmallows have to do with the Uninhibited Retreat?  

First question answered: The painter paints. The writer writes. The dancer dances.  The children wait. The reward is not the painting nor the book nor the dance nor the marshmallow. (Although I beg to differ on that last one as I hate waiting and I love eating treats.)

It's the act of creating, not what's created, that brings the joy, serves the soul, frees one's spirit. 

The world may appreciate your painting, buy your book, love your dance and eat your marshmallows, but that's not why you do what you do if you're a pro.  In Pressfield's book, becoming a pro means you come to the realization that creating your work is the greater reward than the creation itself or the accolades that come with it.  You finally get that being a master of your craft means you're always learning, you're always practicing to become better. And while validation is lovely to receive from others, that's not what turns you on. What really turns you on is your own process.

Second question answered: I don't know exactly what we'll do with the marshmallows just yet, but I can tell you that Uninhibited is the kind of retreat where we're always learning more about ourselves and each other moment to moment. It's also the kind of retreat where being closed or clever just doesn't work.  Being open and honest does and it's required. The truth already are creative. The question is...are you creating?  For four and a half days, together we'll explore how we're creating ourselves, our work, our dance, our lives.

We'll create a painting we wreck, a writing we'll burn, a dance we'll do over and over again and a marshmallow we'll...still not sure what we'll do with those sticky gobs of sugar, but it will be fun as all get out.   

If any of this makes sense to you, if the odd and somewhat suggestive title intrigued you enough to come here to my website, if you're still reading and you're wondering what this next retreat in October is really all about, you and I should talk. Perhaps you'll be a part of it. 

Email me. Call me. Fill out the form. Have I got some marshmallows for you!