“It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life.”
– Telamon of Arcadia
This is the 2nd part in my series about Resistance. You can read part 1 here.
The concept of Resistance was created by Steven Pressfield. He discusses his theory of Resistance in detail in his book War of Art, which I can’t recommend enough.
In the previous article we looked at the invisible war. The daily battle for greatness.
A daily battle that you’ve likely been losing for too long. A war against Resistance. You may know this force as procrastination, doubt, fear, excuses, or many other forms of self-sabotage.
The key to winning the fight against Resistance is found in the manner that you approach your craft.
If you practice your craft for fun. If you are only willing to commit part-time. If you aren’t prepared to show up no matter what. If you need inspiration to get started. You are an amateur.
Resistance loves amateurs.
Amateurs are weak and foolish. They are common. They are struggling artists or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Want to know how to stop being an amateur and win the war against Resistance?
You beat Resistance by turning from an amateur into a professional.
Amateurs are suckers. They fall for the most obvious tricks that Resistance plays. They might put up a fight from time to time, but they never go for the kill.
The professional is a cold-blooded killer.
What Does it Take to Turn Pro?
The professional shows up every day. No matter what.
He puts the work in. Full-time over a long period of time.
The professional takes his craft seriously. He needs to earn money for survival and he expects to be compensated. However, he does the work out of love for the craft.
Unlike the amateur, the pro doesn’t over-identify with his craft. He does not define himself by his work.
The pro aims to master technique above all else.
He has a sense of humor. The pro can laugh at criticism and past mistakes.
The Mindset of a Pro
The professional wakes up each day prepared for war. The pro knows that he can be defeated on any given day if he lets his guard down. A true professional slows the momentum of Resistance before it can even start by tackling the hardest and most important tasks first.
War is hell and the professional is prepared to be miserable. Pros know that it’s better to be getting your ass kicked in the arena than to be in the stands.
Resistance wants us to dive into a project with the enthusiasm of a 15 year old boy getting his first shot at deflowering a fine young maiden. Like the boy, the amateur doesn’t last long.
The professional understands delayed satisfaction. His mind is prepared for the long haul, so he conserves his energy.
The pro views clutter and messiness with pure disdain. Such disorder and chaos will only cloud the mind. This is unacceptable to the pro.
Amateurs view their work as a mystical art. They glorify their work. The professional sees their work as a craft. They don’t get caught up in the magic of it all, they shut up and get to work.
The professional knows that no one is immune to fear. They proceed in spite of fear. They know that fear only subsides AFTER you take action, never before.
The pro does not accept excuses. Misfortune, lucky breaks, genetics, good timing – adversity or fortune – these are all part of the game. The pro plays whatever cards they are dealt and doesn’t worry about the next person’s hand.
The professional respects his craft and is forever a student to mastering technique. Professionals are not superior to their craft. Amateurs are naive enough to think they know everything. Professionals know when to ask for help and they do so without hesitation.
The pro is separated from his work. The criticism and praise he receives is taken objectively. It does not define his self-worth.
The professional does not look, talk, or act like an amateur. Not by fate, but by choice.
Becoming a pro is a mindset. There’s nothing magical about it.
As much as we’d like to think that we are missing some special puzzle piece that successful people have, we aren’t.
You simply decide to turn pro and then you actually do it.
You become relentless through discipline and willpower.
You seek to kill Resistance every single day. Then you wipe the blood from your skin at night and sleep well. Because in the morning – the battle starts over again.
Until Next Time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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