Feasting on a big Jamaican breakfast and soaking up some knowledge from a good book? Is there any better way to usher in the New Year? No, I don’t think so.
We were blessed with the ability to spend the last few days of 2018 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I say blessed because it has been years since I have gotten the chance to spend time in Jamaica during the holidays. I was born in Jamaica and I have the warmest memories of eating big breakfasts, dinners, going to church service where I participated in Christmas Pageants and spending days at the beach during Christmas holiday. A part of me wanted to get a little of that feeling back. My Christmas’ now, though thankful for them, are not the same.
On this trip I learned that what I had was wonderful and was good for that time. I cannot get that back. I am now immersed in something new. I call a new place home.
While sitting on the veranda (at the Altamont West Hotel) or on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, I dug into a short book titled, “Turning Pro” by Steven Pressfield. It is a short enough text to read in a sitting or two. It is a compilation of notes and blogposts that the author has done over the years. Steven is the author of the renowned book, “The War of Art.” “Turning Pro” is a pick up of sorts to the “War of Art.”
“Turning Pro” talks about resistance and how it feeds the amateur in you. Resistance causes self-doubt, fear and self sabotage. You turn into a professional when you can beat resistance and move beyond your ” shadow” (a version or reflection of yourself that takes little to no risk) into your true self. Your true self is the professional or the artist. The professional lives in the present, helps others, is courageous, avoids distractions and is aware of his/her power and does not give it away.
Powerful stuff to digest.
Digesting good food and knowledge is a bit of the same thing. You love good food and knowledge and you consume the both slowly. You savor it. You take in small bits and you stop to think about the flavors and the taste.
Towards the end of “Turning Pro”there is the discussion or the introduction of the professional mindset as a practice. “A practice implies engagement in a ritual.” In short, the things that you do daily determines your success. Practice has a space and the space is sacred. Carve out a space for yourself where you do your work. A practice has a time. Take the time, make the time in your day to study or do the thing that you set your mind to accomplish. A practice has an intention. Do all things with an intention. The course that you take should be one that is planned and well thought out. The practice is lifelong. If you are to do the thing then do the damn thing. It will not be for a day, a month or a year but in order to have longevity, you must do your thing for a lifetime. You have to be committed to your practice and to your work. Period.
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