The sure sign of an amateur is he has a million plans and they all start tomorrow.
To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.
Turning pro is like kicking a drug habit or stopping drinking. It's a decision, a decision to which we must re-commit every day.
When we're living as amateurs, we're running away from our calling — meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves. Addiction becomes a surrogate for our calling. We enact the addiction instead of embracing the calling. Why? Because to follow a calling requires work. It's hard. It hurts. It demands entering the pain-zone of effort, risk, and exposure.
The amateur allows his worth and identity to be defined by others. The amateur craves third-party validation. The amateur is tyrannized by his imagined conception of what is expected of him. He is imprisoned by what he believes he ought to think, how he ought to look, what he ought to do, and who he ought to be.
Many artists are addicts, and vice versa. Many are artists in one breath and addicts in another. What's the difference? The addict is the amateur; the artist is the professional.
Turning Pro summary
The follow up to the War of Art. In the War of Art Pressfield identifies the enemy to living an authentic life – resistance. In Turning Pro, Pressfield teaches you how to defeat it.
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