It’s Time for You to Turn Pro
The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.
In Steven Pressfield’s insightful manual for winning creative battles, “The War of Art,” he encourages the reader to “turn pro.” He follows with a detailed comparison between the professional and the amateur.
Why is this important? Because the difference between the pro and the amateur or “wannabe” is also the secret to making your dreams a reality. You may be a blossoming entrepreneur, aspiring musician, writer, actor or even a backyard gardener—the pursuit isn’t what matters. Your mindset on the journey is what matters.
Pressfield’s book is a must-read for anyone who is serious about accomplishing big goals. Without spoiling the book, here’s what you need to know about becoming a professional: the professional doesn’t quit.
A professional always seeks improvement. She learns constantly, refining her skills of conversation, relaxation, discipline and integrity. She weathers failure and success alike, renewing her commitment to pursue her passion despite setbacks and accolades. The professional knows when the whistle blows that it’s time to hit the showers, reflect on the game and get a good night’s rest. He shows up for the next practice ready to give 110%. He knows the real opponent is his secret desire to take the easy route, to choose comfort over courage.
The amateur looks for the microwave solution, pushing buttons instead of pushing himself—digging for an excuse instead of digging up determination.
To quote Pressfield, “The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”
To become a professional you must lean into your emotions, allow them wash over you, then pick up your head and resume the attack. An amateur distracts himself from the raw wound of his human heart; the professional uses the pain to stay grounded.
Consider your passions and goals, your “why.” Have you let your “why” become an amateur hobby?
Maybe it’s time for you to turn pro.