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Turning Pro

Steven Pressfield • Rating: 7 / 10
Turning Pro

“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It introduces the concept of the Resistance - the invisible inner force that doesn’t want us to change, be creative, courageous and achieve things.

Through that book, Steven mentions what does it mean to be amateur or professional. “Turning Pro” is a new book dedicated to diving into this concept more and explaining the difference more thoroughly.

This book certainly has interesting insights, but I didn’t feel like I was getting a lot of value out of it. I guess “The War of Art” set the bar too high and I was expecting way too much.

It’s still a good book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it again, like I do with “The War of Art”.

My notes

Addictions and shadow careers are messages in a bottle from our unconscious.

All addictions share, among others, two primary qualities.

  1. They embody repetition without progress.
  2. They produce incapacity as a payoff.

I applaud your story of how you hit bottom, because at the bottom there’s no one there but yourself.

There is no tribe. That gang or posse that we imagine is sustaining us by the bonds we share is in fact a conglomeration of individuals who are just as fucked up as we are and just as terrified. Each individual is so caught up in his own bullshit that he doesn’t have two seconds to worry about yours or mine, or to reject or diminish us because of it. When we truly understand that the tribe doesn’t give a damn, we’re free. There is no tribe, and there never was. Our lives are entirely up to us.

When we make someone into an icon, we give away our power. We say to ourselves (unconsciously), “This person possesses qualities I wish I possessed. Therefore I will worship this person in the hope that that quality will wear off on me, or I will acquire that quality by virtue of my proximity to this mentor/ sensei/ lover/ teacher/ hero.” In my experience, when we project a quality or virtue onto another human being, we ourselves almost always already possess that quality, but we’re afraid to embrace (and to live) that truth.