From Steven Pressfield – best known for “The War of Art”  –  Turning Pro is an inspiring instruction manual that’ll help you create the work you were meant to do by dividing your life into two phases, the amateur and the professional, and getting you from one into the other.    Want to earn a living by doing your ‘life’s work’ on something creative?  Or just become truly great at your profession?   Time to look into Turning Pro.

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Fear is the primary color of the Amateur’s interior world.  The Professional is terrified too.  The difference is how the amateur acts in the face of the fear. 

The amateur is a narcissist.   They live in their ego.  He believes he is himself – and that is why he is terrified.  Too high on his highs, too low on his lows.  He believes that he cannot rise unless others fall.

He lives by the opinion of others.  Worth comes from others.  Imprisoned  by his “ought to”s.   Periodically, this paralyzes him.

The Amateur fears solitude and silence.  Seeks instant gratification.  Seeks some sort of permission.

Amateur lives in the past – one that probably didn’t even happen.

The Amateur will be ready “tomorrow”

The force that can save the Amateur is awareness.  Particularly self-awareness.  Plus some empathy.  Then to realize that  The Tribe – the one we worry about judging us – doesn’t give a shit.  They are too fucked up and self-absorbed to pay attention to us.

Before we turn Pro, we live a life of fear and resistance.  When we turn pro we stop running from our own fears.  We turn and face them.

The Pro knows that EVERY DAY he will wake up to face the same fears and demons.  The difference is that – NOW – he won’t yield to them.  He will master them and continue to master them.

In the moment, an epiphany feels like hell.   It trashes us – exposes us and leaves us naked.  The essence of Epiphanies is the stripping away of self-delusion.  We thought we were X, now we see that we are -20X/infinity.  The delusion must be abandoned and it hurts.  What we have gained is The Truth.