There seems to be hundreds, even thousands, of overnight success stories out there.
The reality is that success rarely, if ever, comes as a result of very little effort.
Whatever your chosen endeavour, be it losing weight, or building a business, or writing a book, or learning a musical instrument, you are going to have to decide if you are a professional or an amateur.
By professional, I don’t just mean getting paid for it, although it’s easier to explain this idea in that context. Steven Pressfield wrote about what a professional is in The War of Art, by relating it to what we do for a job. The salient points are:
- You show up every day. Even if it’s just so you don’t get fired.
- You show up no matter what. Even if you are sick or hung over.
- You are committed over the long haul. You might have a different job with a different company next year. Either way you’ll still be working.
- The stakes are high and real. It’s about survival.
- You are committed to mastering the technique of your job.
- You have a sense of humour about it.
- You allow yourself to be judged in the real world. You accept that your work will receive praise or criticism.
Now compare this to an amateur:
- He does not show up every day. Just when he feels like it.
- He does not show up no matter what. Just when it’s convenient.
- He’s committed for the short term only.
- She is not interested in mastering the technique.
- She does not have a sense of humour about failure.
- She does not expose herself to judgement in the real world.
Whatever your ambition, approaching it from a professional perspective will give you the best possible chance of success.
You can stay on the sidelines as an amateur, or get in the game as a pro. You decide.