The professional knows that there is no easy way to produce good art. That there is no royal road or hack.
He is prepared to tackle the project that will make him stretch. And he’s prepared to be a beginner, over and over.
He plays full time and he plays for keeps. He finds motivation in understanding that it’s one thing to study war and a completely different thing to live the warrior’s life.
He learns to play hurt because he knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain-free. And because he understands that taking a few blows is the price he pays for being on the field and not in the stands.
He sees himself, not as a white collar expert, but as a blue collar mercenary. A gun for hire.
And he does it all because, as Steven Pressfield put it, he knows that by toiling beside the front-door of technique, he leaves room for genius to enter by the back.
There is no mystery to turning pro. It’s not a state attained through skill or experience. It’s an attitude. The decision is willed forth.
When we make up our mind to view ourselves as a pro, we turn pro.