Turning Pro

Notes

13
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The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits.

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When we’re living as amateurs, we’re running away from our calling — meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves. Addiction becomes a surrogate for our calling. We enact the addiction instead of embracing the calling. Why? Because to follow a calling requires work. It’s hard. It hurts. It demands entering the pain-zone of effort, risk, and exposure.

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When you turn pro, your life gets very simple.

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When we can’t stand the fear, the shame, and the self-reproach that we feel, we obliterate it with an addiction.

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All addictions share, among others, two primary qualities. 1. They embody repetition without progress. 2. They produce incapacity as a payoff.

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Stanislavsky’s famous three questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want?

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Resistance hates two qualities above all others: concentration and depth. Why? Because when we work with focus and we work deep, we succeed.

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Achieving this compassion is the first powerful step toward moving from being an amateur to being a pro.

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The force that can save the amateur is awareness, particularly self-awareness. But the amateur understands, however dimly, that if she truly achieved this knowledge, she would be compelled to act upon

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And we have a third force working in our favor: shame. Why is shame good? Because shame can produce the final element we need to change our lives: will.

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Krishna said we have the right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor. He meant that the piano is its own reward, as is the canvas, the barre, and the movieola. Fuck the marshmallows.

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A practice implies engagement in a ritual. A practice may be defined as the dedicated, daily exercise of commitment, will, and focused intention aimed, on one level, at the achievement of mastery in a field but, on a loftier level, intended to produce a communion with a power greater than ourselves — call it whatever you like: God, mind, soul, Self, the Muse, the superconscious.

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There’s a wonderful book called Where Women Create.