Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield
The author discloses a fundamental way of looking at who we are and bringing real change in our lives by realizing our true calling.
The Shadow Career
The shadow job is a metaphor for our actual job. It carries no real risk. The consequences of failing at a shadow career are meaningless to us.
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It’s sometimes easier to become a professional in a side hustle than it is to become a professional in our true calling.
You can spend your entire life working in the shadows. But it’s becoming a pro at your craft that will bring you long-term fulfilment.
Traits of an Amateur
- Amateurs have a big ego, full of excuses and blame.
- They are defined by the opinions of others.
- They let fear keep them from trying.
- They want immediate gratification.
- They are envious.
- They have no empathy for themselves.
- They seek approval for everything.
- They live in the present and in the past.
- They delegate power to others.
Addicts Vs Creators
Every addiction has two characteristics:
- They represent repetition without advancement.
- As a payoff, they cause incapacity.
Professionals are artists, while amateurs are addicts.
Addiction (distractions, displacement activities, drugs, etc.) is used by amateurs to avoid their calling, which is the duty to become our truest and highest selves.
Traits Of A Pro
The Pro has patience and desires order.
Demystifies the world.
In the face of fear, responds, not reacts.
Sees through excuses.
Does not flaunt
Devotes himself to technique mastery.
Does not hesitate to seek assistance.
Takes neither failure nor success personally.
Has no connection to his or her instrument.
Is acknowledged by other professionals.
Does not engage in the blame game.
The Pro Mindset
Turning professional is a decision to pursue your calling despite overwhelming fear. It is a decision to structure your life so that you face your fear every day. It is a decision to form the habits that your professional craft necessitates.
The pro mindset is a discipline that helps people overcome self-sabotaging habits like procrastination, self-doubt, distraction susceptibility, perfectionism, and shallowness. We recruit the self-strengthening habits of order, regularity, discipline, and a never-ending pursuit of excellence.
How To Tell If You Are With A Pro
A Pro possesses the following characteristics:
- Is fearless.
- Will not be distracted by the daily ups and downs of life.
- Is brutal to himself
- Lives in the present and postpones gratification
- Does not need to be inspired.
Professionals adhere to a practice, which is a strict, prescribed regimen for raising one’s mind and spirit to a higher level. Writers, yogis, bankers, and directors are all examples of this.
Practice elements include:
A space is a one-of-a-kind place to rehearse your craft.
A period in which you work on your craft
An intention: to improve, to go deeper, etc.
There is no end point to this practice.
Fear Holds Us Back
Fear is the dominant colour in the amateur’s inner world. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of appearing foolish, fear of underachieving and fear of overachieving, poverty, loneliness, and death are all fears.
Most importantly, the fear of being rejected by the tribe, which includes the family, nation, race, and religion.
An Amateur’s Life Is Easy But Hollow
The amateur is afraid that if he goes pro and pursues his dream, he will have to live up to who he truly is and what he is truly capable of. The amateur is terrified that if the tribe discovers his true identity, he will be cast out into the cold to die.
When We Turn Pro, Everything Becomes Simple
- When you go pro, your life becomes very simple.
- We finally pay attention to that quiet, small voice inside our heads.
- Before we go pro, our lives are dominated by fear and resistance. We are living in denial. We are suppressing the voice in our heads. We are rejecting our calling. We’re denying our true selves.
- We stop running from our fears when we go pro. We turn around and confront them.