It’s so easy to focus on what isn’t working in our lives as our thoughts wander to our want list. Maybe we even take the time to write down a vision for our lives and create a mantra, repeating it silently, over and over again. And then we wait.
Steven Pressfield talks about how behaviors and habits easily sabotage our intentions in his brilliant book “The War of Art.” Written specifically for creative professionals, this list applies almost without exception, to the art of living life in general. See if you agree.
Steven identifies the qualities of two distinct categories of human behavior. We are either Amateurs or we are Pros.
The 10 Qualities of a Pro:
- We show up every day
- We show up no matter what
- We stay on the job all day
- We are committed over the long haul
- The stakes for us are high and real
- We accept remuneration for our labor
- We do not over identify with our jobs [roles]
- We master the technique of our jobs [roles]
- We have a sense of humor about our jobs [roles]
- We receive praise or blame in the real world
Aha! Where are we Pros in our lives and where are we Amateurs? Not just at work but in our personal lives, our relationships, our finances and our health.
Have you quit yourself in any of these areas lately? I certainly have.
Can’t blame the vision or the mantra for unfulfilled dreams and goals. It’s when we’re asleep at the wheel that mini-me (the amateur) shows up, takes charge and triggers the habits and behaviors that keep us playing small.
Do not despair! There is scientific proof that human beings are not zebras and so we can indeed change our stripes. And how to do that is exactly where we’re taking you next.
Decide where you quit yourself. Notice when you’re playing small. Discover the beliefs that don’t belong to you or no longer serve you. We start with baby steps, practice and the belief that anything is possible. We’ll create new habits one by one, building momentum along the way that will spill over into other areas of your life.