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Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work Paperback – May 31, 2012
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About the Author
- Publisher : Black Irish Entertainment LLC; unknown edition (May 31, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 146 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1936891034
- ISBN-13 : 978-1936891030
- Item Weight : 5.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.37 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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By creative, we don't mean just the arts. By creative, we mean anyone who sets out to create a life outside of the normal path, without a map or guidebook. Turning Pro is about taking the amateur self, looking it in the eye, and deciding that enough is enough. We are now doing this and we're doing it damn well too. We are reaching the upper realms not through addiction or avoidance or distractions, but through Labor and Love.
I re-read Do The Work before reading Turning Pro to experience the combined effect. Do The Work speaks at length to the internal enemy, the Resistance. Turning Pro is focused more on the artist vs. the addict, the pro vs. the amateur, and how the answer to all our internal suffering and struggles in that path is to turn pro. Pressfield's own life story fills a few of his short two-page chapters, revealing that he has lived everything he preaches in this book.
One concept that will stick with me, I imagine, is that of "the shadow career", or even, "the shadow life". It's not our real career, our real work, our real life, the one we were truly meant to live. It is close to it but we're fooling ourselves, and fear and resistance help us keep up with the fooling. Say you do admin work for a startup company instead of starting your own, you are the assistant to the singer instead of taking your voice lessons, you are the editor for some publishing house instead of responding to your own calling to write. And these are just the obvious shadow careers. There are many more subtle ones that would take a harder look to identify. How do you KNOW you are living a shadow career or a shadow life? You just know. You know by how you feel at the end of the day or night. You know by how satisfied or empty you feel at the end of a work project. You just know, even if you refuse to admit it, deep down, you just know.
It is one of the best short reads on the human condition, the internal conflict and suffering, and the art of liberation through the act of turning pro. It reads like a symphony; Pressfield's writing is poetic, punchy, and powerful. What I'm beyond impressed with is the succinctness of this book and its immeasurable power. I can see how the author must have wanted to pull his hair out to get the book down to this size, and yet, it is complete. It is no less and no more than what it needs to be to say exactly what it wants to say.
Some of my favorite parts, in quotes:
(This sentence made me cry, not sure why) => What we get when we turn pro is, we find our power.
Turning pro is free, but it's not without cost. When we turn pro, we give up a life with which we may have become extremely comfortable. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own. 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.
The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. The professional has professional habits.
When we turn pro, we stop running from our fears. We turn around and we face them.
Next up: War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Stay tuned for the review.
His vision of amateurism is better defined. The amateur is the one who always succumbs to Resistance, even builds a life and career around Resistance. One common manifestation of this is the self-sabotage of addiction or compulsion; another is the building of a “shadow career” in which the trappings of success hide the secret truth - known only to the would-be artist - that the artistic impulse has been denied or betrayed.
Pressfield says surprisingly little about professionalism. There is almost nothing about the habits of successful writers and artists, except that one must show up every day and fight the forces of Resistance with the courage of a warrior. Perhaps this is enough, or perhaps this is all that can be communicated.
Either way, the larger point is that Pressfield is advocating a kind of Gnostic conversion. He references Gnosticism and the mystical ways of thinking in neo-Platonism, Kabbalah, and Eastern religion throughout. We live in the corrupt material sphere, and Resistance is the malign force that keeps us from ascending into a higher plane of existence where creation can occur. Resistance pressures us to conform ourselves to the material world, and to deny our own authenticity. Only the daily struggle against Resistance, carried out through courageous and habitual confrontations, can secure us our authenticity.
The Gnostic turn is strange, but central. He starts from the theme that we are all exiles. Traditional religious faiths teach that we are alienated from God; modern psychology uses the model of disease and therapy. Pressfield offers a third way of approaching this fundamental human experience of homelessness, and seems to encourage the creation of a community of self-aware artists.
I only made it to page 21, then put the book in the dumpster.
First, let me tell you why I read.
I read to escape, to learn something I don't know, to gain a new perspective, AND to escape the world.
"We can even be addicted to ourselves (see Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump)," Pressfield writes on page 21.
How sad I thought, as I stared at the passage. There were so many others he could have exampled, but to bring politics into this book, this lightening rod of a person made me sad. Why did anyone have to be named? To have said only, "We can even be addicted to ourselves" would have been enough without putting faces on the sentence.
Now this book sits in the dumpster. Maybe a homeless person will find in and have an epiphany. I didn't.
Top reviews from other countries
There's a poetry to this book. And an emphatic call that is actually compelling. It will help contextualise the excuses, will let you see how you've been talking yourself out of doing what you long to do. So if you're frustrated by your own inactivity or the nagging call of creative energy that you just don't act on, get this. It should do the trick of inspiring you to just crack on with it. And if it doesn't, then maybe you are still content to just 'dabble'.
There, I just saved you £5.