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Being a professional is hard


"An amateur bread baker leaves the kitchen coated in flour, and sometimes, perhaps, ends up with a great loaf of bread. A professional baker might not seem to be as flustered, as hassled or even as busy. But the bread, the result of this mindful process, is worth buying, every day."
- Seth Godin

First drafts are easy. Ideas are easy. Follow through is hard. As the famous author William Faulkner once said, "I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes at a quarter past nine every morning." Being a professional is in the process.

The biggest difference between an amateur and a professional is that of consistency. An amateur might have a fantastic day one day and perform a lot better than a seasoned professional. We see this often in sports. But he will not be able to repeat it day after day and week after week. The reason a professional can do that is because of the rigour he brings into his work, to his art. 

The rigour of the process is just as important as the talent in the making of a professional.

Like James Faulkner, Seth Godin posts an article on his blog every single day of the year, and has been doing so for many years now. Cristiano Ronaldo puts in his training every single day of the year. Being a professional in anything is a lifestyle. 

Batman is a professional. As Rachel writes in her letter to Bruce Wayne, "When I told you that if Gotham no longer needed Batman we could be together, I meant it. But now I'm sure the day won't come when you no longer need Batman." When you are a professional in something, that becomes an integral part of your life. And that is because several of your tiny daily habits and routines revolve around the process of making you that professional, be it writing a thousand words a day or running every morning.

Being a professional is hard. Living by the process takes effort. But only so to an outsider. To the professional, that is the only life they know.

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