I’m joining John Saddington (john.do) in a little experiment to see what a digital bookclub might look like and what we can, collectively, gain from a journey together. He has chosen [wisely] a book by Steven Pressfield called “Turning Pro” and part of the experiment is to write as much as we read. I’ll be doing that writing here.
Day 1 consists of just the first few chapters where Steven lays out the premise of what turning pro means, why it’s important and where the need to leave our amateur status behind comes from.
I was struck, in particular, by how he stacked two primal forces against each other: fear and ambition. Fear is one of the most powerful forms of “brake” in our lives. Fear comes to us naturally as a survival mechanism for the wounds and tragedies that inevitably come our way and is responsible for obscuring our ambition and skewing the perception of ourselves.
Steven doesn’t come right out and say it, at least not yet anyway, but the journey towards becoming pro has a requisite level of maturity needed; maturity that is found through the struggle and experiences of life. I suspect that the process of turning pro will be less prescriptive and more a function of the milemarkers of our story.
For me, the journey has been helped by some tools of learning about my design and some honest and loving friends.
Fear vs. Ambition – a battle to the death!
- Fear continues to show itself as one of the most powerful “braking” forces in life
- Heeding the call of ambition is the first step to overwhelming fear
- Our true design (or calling) is brought out from deep down by ambition and maturity is required to see it rising from the depths
- Examining our current circumstances and honest reflection of our satisfaction will show is if we’re entertaining a shadow career
- Our shadow careers are needed to allow us the time to mature and develop the requisite mental and emotional toughness to face whatever has put us in the shadow career
- Our lives develop as a series of valleys and peaks. The valleys toughen us; scar us; chip away the innocence of our youth. The peaks give us respite; time for reflection; added energy for the next trip downward. With each cycle, we learn new things about who we are and somewhere along the way, we will have gained enough wisdom and courage to overwhelm our fears and plant a mile marker where life becomes different.