On Habits

The difference between amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits.  A professional has professional habits.

Pressfield nails it here and it has required me to take a step back and look at all of the habits that I enact and perform on the daily. The question is simple: Is this a habit of a professional or amateur?

It might actually be that simple.

If you’re wondering why you can’t get things done I suppose you only have to look at your habits and see if they are actually helping or hindering your progress. It’s a dangerous question to ask oneself because it’ll quickly betray you.

If you’re spending too much time watching Netflix and yet, at the very same time, complaining privately and publicly that you’re not “getting ahead” in your personal and/or private life… perhaps you need to quit with the amateur habits and start replacing them with professional ones.

It’s not that watching Netflix is inherently bad – we all know that a little rest and relaxation is important! The question is whether or not Netflix is a habit that’s eating up time and productivity instead of a reward for doing great work and a limited encounter here and there.

I am asked, at times, how I can “do” so many things and still continue to be a somewhat available husband and father and everything else. It’s hard to answer that question because the answer is too nuanced and too complex. Rather, I simple say that I spend my time wisely and with very little waste.

I have made some decisions to build habits that are more professional in nature than amateur. This hasn’t always been intentional, mind you as I could never give myself that much credit. I have, most of the time, failed my way to some of these conclusions.

But, I hate wasting time and I spend most of my time working on things that matter. There’s a level of intensity and intentionality in all that I do, including things of leisure and relaxation. Even that is a “professional” habit worth curating and cultivating.

Is your daily life one marked by professional habits or ones that are distinctly amateurish? We can now dispense with much of the blame for our own misfortune and our own inability to live a life worth living, full of passion and fascinating pursuit – we only need to look in the mirror and mutter, “amateur.”