Pressfield on the Professional Mindset as a Practice

In his book, Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield teaches us how to navigate the passage from the amateur life to professional practice.

These are my takeaways from reading the book.

According to Pressfield, to “have a practice” is to follow a rigorous, prescribed regimen to elevate the mind and the spirit to a higher level. Pressfield also defined the practice as the dedicated, daily exercise of commitment, will, and focused intention aimed, on one level, at the achievement of mastery in a field.

We should consider setting up our practice with the following elements:

A practice has a space

That space is sacred. We want to encourage the qualities of Order, Commitment, Passion, Love, Intensity, Beauty, and Humility when we practice our work of art.

A practice has a time

When we practice our work, we want to approach it via order, commitment and passionate intention. When we do our work daily in the same space at the same time, powerful energy of intention, dedication, and commitment build up around us.

A practice has an intention

Focused practice is the only way to achieving mastery. Our intention as professionals is to get better and to go deeper into our chosen field.

We come to a practice as warriors

Every time the professional enters the practice space, she knows that will be facing a powerful opponent. That powerful opponent is herself, and she will be battling the demon of Resistance all day long.

We come to a practice in humility

We must bring intention and intensity to our practice, but we leave ego and arrogance behind at the entrance of our workspace.

We come to a practice as students

Even after we achieve “mastery” in our field, we are always learning as a student when we come to the practice field.

A practice is lifelong

For a professional, there is no finish line.

Unlike a project, life is a constant pursuit.