A professional according to author Steven Pressfield in his book, the War of Art is someone who dedicates his life to the craft and what he does, he plays full-time, seven days a week, and not just on weekends.
A professional is not to be confused with engineers and lawyers though, a professional is an ideal. It can be compared in contrast to an amateur.
“The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps… To the amateur, the game is his avocation. To the pro it’s his vocation”
I started getting familiar with the ideal late last year from the book and Seth Godin podcasts but only fully committed myself to be a professional some months ago.
With that, I fully committed myself to the game and everything I do. I have prioritized consistency over authenticity.
And consistency means working on your craft every single day no matter what.
Jascha Heifetz, a Russian-American violinist once said “If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.”.
Those are words coming from a man who is known as the best violinist of all time. He practiced every day and always strived for perfection even when he was on top.
In fact after enjoying three successful worldwide tours, when asked what was next for him seeing that he had now reached the top. He replied with:
”There is no top. There are always farther heights to reach. If one thought himself at the pinnacle, he would slide back toward mediocrity by that very belief in his success.”
If those are the words of a man who was at the top, there’s no doubt that start out pro like myself has no choice but to continue to work hard and remain consistent.
Any slacking or days off will result in nullifying all the hard work put in.
Source: Jascha Heifetz – NY Times