Winning Mindset

Genius = Preparation

"Nothing wins more often than superior preparation."

- Dave Kekitch

Developing A Professional Attitude

One of the current books I'm reading is Steven Pressfield's The War Of Art. Pressfield's theme in this excellent book is how to overcome the obstacles that prevent us from doing whatever it is that we need to be doing - whatever our purpose on this planet happens to be.

Pressfield suggests taking a professional (as opposed to an amateur) approach to your craft, and defines the differences as:

• An amateur is a weekend warrior...a professional works at it daily

• An amateur does it for fun...a professional does it for real

• A pro doesn't identify himself with his job, a pro does his job

• A pro knows it's a marathon and not a sprint

• A pro knows that you are never going to overcome fear, you just have to act in the face of fear.

Pressfield offers an example of professionalism in Tiger Woods. According to Pressfield, “Tiger takes his craft seriously, working at it every day, even if tired or injured.”

Now of course the word “amateur” originally comes from Latin (“to love” or “lover”) but don’t miss the point — pros can, do, and SHOULD love what they do. What we’re talking about is the day to day approach

Marketing powerhouse Joe Polish similarly states that “the amateur waits until he’s inspired, the pro does it with a headache.” Coach Dan John has said that most great athletes became great through “punch-clock workouts.” Meaning, they aren’t always looking for PR’s, they don’t wait until they’ve become inspired, they’re not always looking for the perfect program or the perfect conditions. Instead, they simply slug it out, day after day, even if it hurts or if it’s not particularly fun. They take an incremental, long term, sustainable approach to success. Winners don’t look for the easy score or the quick path to success. Incidentally, to me, the concept of “dieting” is the perfect illustration for the amateur approach. Why don’t diets work? Because they’re not sustainable long-term.

If you have thoughts about this issue, would you let me know? Do any of you know individuals and/or examples of professionalism in the context I’m using here? Please post your comments!