During my first 52-week book project I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is what I wrote:
“This book is utterly brilliant. Steven Pressfield is one of the most captivating writers that I have ever had the fortune to read. There were many times that I was compelled to tears and yet I don’t think it is a book that should make you cry. That is the power of this man’s authentic writing.”
I could say exactly the same about his second offering and leave it at that, that’s how good Turning Pro actually is.
After the success of The War of Art, Pressfield would get pounded with the same questions; namely, “how do you turn pro?” This book is his answer, and it took him three years to conjure up the right words to concoct the response.
“Turning pro is free, but it’s not easy. You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.” Steven Pressfield.
Deciding to create powerful changes in your life is a paradox. It is as simple as changing your mind, but at the same time extremely complicated. Why? Because we make it complicated in order to hide behind our fear. We hate change. We abhor it. We love nothing more than to support the status quo.
“We may have to give up friends, lovers, even spouses.” Steven Pressfield.
This is exactly what happened when I decided to turn pro. On one hand I lost everything, but on the other I have to acknowledge that it was through a set of personal choices that I lost those dear to me. It was tough, it was painful and it was a time full of despair. But for every old relationship that falls by the wayside there is a new one holding its hand high into the air just waiting for you to grab it.
“Turning pro is not for everyone. We have to be a little crazy to do it, or even want to. In many ways the passage chooses us; we don’t choose it. We simply have no alternative. What we get when we turn pro is, we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and to live out.” Steven Pressfield.
Despite understanding that I have made every choice in my life, this is exactly how I felt when I was turning pro. Let me help by explaining what turning pro means for me. I gave up drinking alcohol, quit my job and made a decision to spend my time helping others improve their lives. The first step was to stop drinking and then there were many steps thereafter. Some of them were hard, others not so, but the large majority of actions just happened automatically. I just got carried away with the art of creating a wonderful life.
“The life we call ‘normal’ isn’t normal at all. A spouse and kids, a mortgage, a 9-to-5 job…who said that was life? What’s so great about working in a cubicle or factory?” Steven Pressfield.
You cannot become addicted to alcohol without first tasting it, and you can’t become addicted to a form of life without experiencing it. I have experienced life outside of the societal box people like to push me in. There is no going back once you have experienced a better way of being…no going back at all.
“Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.” – Steve Pressfield.
This is one of the key teachings when you wish to turn pro. Without ambition you have no eyes. You are blind to the world that could potentially surround you. Do you think a fish believes there is anything other than water? Imagine its surprise when it catches the lure and sees the new world. There is so much out there to see, and yet so much resistance preventing us from seeing it. This piece of work gives you eyes. It allows you to see. It answers the question that Pressfield was always receiving.
How do you turn pro?
Do you have a book recommendation for The NeedyHelper? If so please share.