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On being a Professional

Beyond the stereotypes of one who charges for something, pursues what one is qualified for from 9-5 or is well-groomed, formally dressed and is carrying a leather bag. What does it mean to be a professional?

I am moved by this quote:

“When we turn pro, everything becomes simple. Our aim centres on the ordering of our days in such a way that we overcome the fears that have paralyzed us in the past. We now structure our hours not to flee from fear, but to confront it and overcome it. We plan our activities in order to accomplish an aim. And we bring our will to bear so that we stick to this resolution. This changes our days completely. It changes what time we get up and it changes what time we go to bed. It changes what we do and what we don’t do. It changes the activities we engage in and with what attitude we engage in them. It changes what we read and what we eat. It changes the shape of our bodies. When we were amateurs, our life was about drama, about denial, and about distraction. Our days were simultaneously full to the bursting point and achingly, heartbreakingly empty. But we are not amateurs anymore. We are different, and everyone in our lives sees it.

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield

At the heart of it, it’s a courageous decision to let go of amateur habits and build professional habits. Here are 16 of them summarized by Samuel Thomas Davies.

  1. The professional is patient
  2. The professional seeks order
  3. The professional demystifies
  4. The professional acts in the face of fear
  5. The professional accepts no excuses
  6. The professional plays it as it lays
  7. The professional is prepared
  8. The professional does not show off
  9. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
  10. The professional does not hesitate to ask for help
  11. The professional does not take failure or success personally
  12. The professional does not identify with his or her instrument
  13. The professional endures adversity
  14. The professional self-validates
  15. The professional reinvents herself
  16. The professional is recognized by other professionals

I hope you will chose to commit to being a professional. Can’t wait to see what you make happen.

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