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Are You an Amateur or a Professional?

by Jay Delaney

Lately I’ve been reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  (For fans of Seth Godin’s Linchpin, this is the book he cites when he talks about the concept of “Resistance.”)  Aside from all the insights from such a deep exploration of Resistance, what really stood out to me is the concept of approaching your work or your love as either an amateur or a professional.

Here’s how Mr. Pressfield opens the section of the book about “Turning Pro:”

Aspiring artists defeated by Resistance share one trait.  They all think like amateurs.  They have not yet turned pro.

The moment an artist turns pro is as epochal as the birth of his first child. With one stroke, everything changes.  I can state absolutely that the term of my life can be divided into two parts: before turning pro, and after.*

I can’t help but feel like something you approach as an amateur is likely to remain a hobby.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  With the concept of “turning pro,” Mr. Pressfield is speaking to those people who have untapped potential they’re wanting to fully unleash.  If that’s the boat you’re in, then what’s stopping you from becoming a true professional at what you do?  Amateurs talk and think about doing the work or just dabble in the work.  Professionals do the work and get the job done.

*Source: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  Click here for more info.

About the Photo Above: I took this picture last week at one of America’s best ballparks of all – Wrigley Field.  (The Cubs beat the Reds.)

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