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In this lesson, we discuss a really useful technique from Stephen Pressfield’s book, The War of Art … which I call “the mindset of the professional.”

In his book, Pressfield talks about the struggle we face when we create — namely, the battle with the Resistance we face. The book is very valuable, with useful discussions of resistance, pursuing your calling, and more. But the most valuable lesson I learned was about the mindset of the professional.

I realized I had the mindset of the amateur, as I read the book. I was approaching writing books, at the time, like an amateur.

An amateur does their work on the weekend, treats it like something you kinda want to do, and doesn’t do it if they don’t feel like it.

A professional shows up every day, even when he or she doesn’t feel like it, sits down and does the work, masters the techniques and tools needed for the work. The main thing is to show up every day and do the work.

Even if you’re an amateur, you can take on the mindset of the professional and it will do a lot of good for you. Don’t treat it like a weekend warrior, but show up and do the work. Sit down and do it.

The resistance will be there, but you’ll show up and sit down anyway.

You won’t be stopped by the rationalizations. You’ll acknowledge the resistance and show up anyway.

Why do this? If your calling is to find a cure for cancer, then not showing up and doing the work is actually cheating the world of your contribution to the world. A lot of people will suffer because you didn’t sit down and do the work.

Now, we’re not all curing cancer … but if I think that my writing will help people, then by not doing the work I’m cheating the world. I face resistance, but I know that I can’t shirk my work.

You might only help a few people, but even that is a purpose. You don’t know what your purpose will be until you show up and do the work, and figure out what that purpose is. If you don’t try, you’ll never figure out the purpose. It might not be this work, but you won’t know that until you try doing this particular work.

Find your purpose and don’t let anything stop you!


Practice showing up with the mindset of the professional this week. See what happens.

Discuss this topic in Slack.