Turning pro

Spark of the day:

When you turn pro, your life gets very simple.

I'm reading Steven Pressfield's Turning Pro, a sequel of sorts to his insanely popular book, The War of Art.

He starts by outlining two predominant models that are popularly used to help people who are unsatisfied with their lives or themselves in some way. The first is the therapeutic model, where we are "sick" and we get "treatment" of some kind. The second is the moralistic model, where we have committed a "wrong" or "sin" and we resolve this through "punishment" or "penance".

The book proposes a third model: The amateur and the professional. He argues, essentially, that turning pro happens when we find and embrace our true and right selves, and live accordingly. He goes on to talk about what it looks like to live as an amateur, and what it takes to "turn pro" (it isn't easy), and argue that this is a superior model for addressing what ails us (for writers and artists and creative people of any sort, anyway.)

The line that has struck me the most so far is his statement that, "when you turn pro, your life gets very simple."

This resonates with some questions and thoughts I've been pondering lately. Born out of conversations with friends and some journal writing, I came up with this hypothesis: We are at our best when engaged in purposeful and focused action toward aspirations or projects that align with a clear and passionately held purpose.

Finding that purpose, and pursuing it with focused intensity (or, "turning pro" as Pressfield would call it,) has a ripple effect on the rest of our lives. We say no to whatever is not on mission, and our lives get very streamlined and simple. Said more simply, "When you turn pro, your life gets very simple." Yes.

It is easy for me to feel that not being "busy" means I am not moving forward or "doing enough." But perhaps it is not until we remove the "busy" that we can truly get to work.

It's more complicated for moms, of course. Everything is more complicated for moms. But there is something here that I'm filing away for further thought.

On that note, have a great week!


Spark of the Day is a blog series where I document and share the ideas that spark (i.e. resonate with) me. They are usually either ideas I come across during my day, or ideas I have as a result of my work and personal writing. Spark is the "one little word" I have chosen for 2015.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like finding purpose in your life. If focuses everything around that axis.