To this point in the book, the amateur has been taking a beating. He (or she) is responsible for the world’s misery and lackluster realization of potential.

(A little strong? Perhaps.)

Nonetheless, there have been some pretty strong language leveled against the amateur and rightly so. If the professional is to emerge, we must see his nemesis for what he truly is and then apply that image to ourselves.

There’s the rub. Pain.
Pain must be overcome.

My wife experienced chronic pain for the first several years of our marriage. It changes you and it changes the people around you. There’s a new weight hanging around your neck and a tension in the air that will not go away.

Desperation took us from one doctor to another until finally, one suggested that the pain might be nerve damage and prescribed a mild anti-depressant that had the wonderful side-effect of soothing nerve pain.

It was a freaking miracle. And life took on a whole new color, texture, smell, sound and taste. Everything was different; better – mucho better!

The point is that pain, in the case of the amateur – the result of cowering to fear, will affect us negatively unless we have the courage to move through it and find relief. Sooner or later, pain knocks you off center and you start seeking answers.

The pro has made this journey, found relief and establishes a wide margin around himself. People take notice and are forced to respect the new boundaries. Going back is not an option. Burn the ships and remove temptation.

[no notes today – written on the road]