THE HONEST AMATEUR & THE PROFESSIONAL
MASTER YOUR REALITY
This is this 4th edition of “Meditations On Integration”. These are short clips from previous episodes that showcase a particular aspect of a broader subject. I’m stoked to serve you up a simple does of creative inspiration that can add value to your life while saving you time.
In this edition, we focus on a a couple of sections. One is from my book review of 12 Rules For Life. It’s from episode 26, which covered Rule 3 - “Make Friends With People Who Want The Best For You”. The other is from my review for the book called "Turning Pro". That's a 2 part deal covered in episodes 16 and 17.
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12 RULES FOR LIFE
Why remain vague, when it renders life stagnant and murky? Well, if you don’t know who you are, you can hide in doubt. Maybe you’re not a bad, careless, worthless person. Who knows? Not you. Particularly if you refuse to think about it—and you have every reason not to.
But not thinking about something you don’t want to know about doesn’t make it go away. You are merely trading specific, particular, pointed knowledge of the likely finite list of your real faults and flaws for a much longer list of undefined potential inadequacies and insufficiencies.
Why refuse to investigate, when knowledge of reality enables mastery of reality (and if not mastery, at least the stature of an honest amateur)?
What if there truly is something rotten in the state of Denmark? Then what? Isn’t it better under such conditions to live in willful blindness and enjoy the bliss of ignorance? Well, not if the monster is real.
If you wait instead until what you are refusing to investigate comes a-knocking at your door, things will certainly not go so well for you. What you least want will inevitably happen—and when you are least prepared. What you least want to encounter will make itself manifest when you are weakest and it is strongest. And you will be defeated.
Why refuse to specify, when specifying the problem would enable its solution? Because to specify the problem is to admit that it exists. Because to specify the problem is to allow yourself to know what you want, say, from friend or lover—and then you will know, precisely and cleanly, when you don’t get it, and that will hurt, sharply and specifically. But you will learn something from that, and use what you learn in the future—and the alternative to that single sharp pain is the dull ache of continued hopelessness and vague failure and the sense that time, precious time, is slipping by.
Why refuse to specify? Because while you are failing to define success (and thereby rendering it impossible) you are also refusing to define failure, to yourself, so that if and when you fail you won’t notice, and it won’t hurt. But that won’t work! You cannot be fooled so easily—unless you have gone very far down the road! You will instead carry with you a continual sense of disappointment in your own Being and the self-contempt that comes along with that and the increasing hatred for the world that all of that generates (or degenerates).
When things fall apart, and chaos re-emerges, we can give structure to it, and re-establish order, through our speech. If we speak carefully and precisely, we can sort things out, and put them in their proper place, and set a new goal, and navigate to it—often communally, if we negotiate; if we reach consensus. If we speak carelessly and imprecisely, however, things remain vague. The destination remains unproclaimed. The fog of uncertainty does not lift, and there is no negotiating through the world.
Turning Pro is a follow-up to The War of Art that gets into the concepts of addictions and “shadow careers” as substitutes for embracing our authentic personal destinies and that digs more deeply into the differences between the amateur mindset and the professional mindset as a means of confronting and overcoming Resistance.
The War of Art suggests a strategy to bring the fight to this perverse enemy. Steve calls it “turning pro.” When we turn pro, we leave our amateur ways behind and announce, if only within ourselves, that we have earned our battle scars and learned from our wayward ways to brand ourselves as professionals.
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT’S NOT EASY.
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT DEMANDS SACRIFICE.
WHAT WE GET WHEN WE TURN PRO.
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