Inspiration, Lifestyle, Personal Growth

‘Turning Pro’ book review

turning-pro-book-review

Hiya and Happy Saturday!

It has been a really busy week where I have finally published other two websites part of my overall project for the year. One is a brand new art website more in line with what I want to do in the near future, where I would also like to include photography and design in my life! Take a peek at www.elenasorianoart.com and let me know what you think! And the other website I published is more like a display of the various hats that I wear in my life in an attempt to wrap them up in a nice pretty showcase. Check it out at www.lnasoriano.com

TURNING PRO BY STEVEN PRESSFIELD

This is a funny moment in my life, and like it happens with all these weird moments  you stumble upon some amazing books that feel like they REALLY speak directly to your soul. This is the case with a book I have recently read: ”Turning Pro”  by Steven Pressfield.

turning pro amateur quoteI decided to read this book as I heard a review about it in a podcast by Lavendaire.com  and it sounded interesting. This book is about a man telling us his experience of going through life aimlessly, going through the motions, living what he calls ” a shallow life” and at some point realizing that he wanted more from it, hence having the courage of taking the decision of what he calls ‘turning pro’.  What he means by turning pro is to follow your passion, whatever that is, independently of how good or bad you believe you are at it. Steven is a writer but was never very ”successful”at it at least in the current meaning of that word. It is interesting how the term ”successful” has evolved in the society we live in: successful= making money; when this word indeed has evolved so much that we have almost forgotten its original meaning not really related to wealth.  When I looked up the meaning at a dictionary this is what I found out:

Successful:
1.- Accomplishing a desired aim or result.
2.- Having achieved fame, wealth, or social status.

 

SUCCESS AS THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A GOAL. BUT WHAT GOAL?

I personally decided to go for the first one, friends, life is not all about money. It does help, of course, but I have been in jobs making real money, having the social status and I was nowhere close to feeling successful. As I learned, life looks way different than you think it would look like once you are where you thought you wanted to be. It may have something to do with what in the book Steven calls living a shallow life. This basically means to live a life that has some elements you consider close to your passions, your dreams but it is somewhat safer, as you are not really putting yourself out there, and you end up being a half version of what you could be in your life as a pro. But the difficult part of accomplishing the desired aim is sometimes to discover what is the aim that will make us happy. Sometimes it is not what people, society or even we expect from ourselves! That is the tricky thing!
turning pro soul evolution quote
These words resonated with me really hard as it has been the story of my life. I have been working since I was very young as I needed the money, worked all the way through college and I never stopped for a moment to think about what I wanted, as I was more worried about how to pay the bills which is completely normal. Some years ago, after leaving a job where I worked for a long time I realized that I changed without even realizing it and I wanted something more creative, more in line with what I like to do which is to create, quite simply. I went back to school, learned marketing and found some roles in that direction, but even after changing many many times I didn’t feel I was in the right place.
Nothing like getting what you ask for and realizing it is not quite what you need, to mess up with your head.

THE CRAZY STUBBORN NEED TO GET THAT SIDE OF YOU OUT THERE

 In the book the author goes through a similar path himself and my favorite part is when he explains that at some point in his life he needed to write ‘the book’. It didn’t matter that he had to become a loner for a year, survive with little money and that the book was going to be successful or not successful. He had to write it, put it out there or he would kill himself. Yes, the drama!!
I remember reading this part and I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought he was so dramatic!!! yet, I completely understood him!! I also laugh, as I felt exactly the same. I am in a moment in my life that I just need ‘to do’ certain things I had in my mind and to put them out there, like having a kid and putting it out in this world. And I will worry about how good or bad or how I will do with the results, the critics, later.

BEING ‘PERFECT’ AT IT OR NOT DOING IT AT ALL. BUT ARE YOU SURE ‘PERFECT’ IS WHAT YOU WANT?

turning pro quote artistI remember I went through a similar process when I started to paint ‘in public’. In Spain, I painted for myself since I was a kid, kept my paintings for myself and would have never shown my stuff to anybody out of pure shame. After all, I did not study Fine Arts, and I was not able to paint from reality perfectly like the Great Artists. The idea of a good painting was a mix between how difficult it was to paint and how much money someone would pay for it. Many people think about art in those terms. Having neither of those, I didn’t feel like putting my art out there, but I still needed to paint, for me.
When I traveled to Ireland, I started to join some artist’s groups as art is everywhere here and it was refreshing. Art for art, not for show, just as an expression of yourself. In my opinion, as it should be.  I remember back in college I had a teacher of critical literature that showed us a 4 lines poem written in a post-it and asked us:- is this art?
 I guess that what I liked about this book is that it feels that the author would agree with me in answering a resounding YES. Art does not ‘have to’ be anything, is the expression of something, the reaction, it is a concept or just a need that we have to get it out there. It is a need that has its roots in the beginning of civilization and it does change as we do. What was considered ‘arty’ before has evolved now and it will continue evolving just as we do.
I liked this book as it talks about people with a passion for something as crafters that just need to sit down and put the hours in their craft. Simple. We need to put our art out there because it is not going to be more or less valuable because of external factors (if it sells, if it is liked…blah blah blah). But just because it is an extension of ourselves. It is a book about being courageous about what you love and to get whatever you want to do, done fighting the ‘resistance’ to do it. And resistance is just the expression of fear.  Fear of what others may think, criticism, lack of financial reward, lack of recognition…the list goes on and on. We all have our own.
But it is great to read about people that have chosen the other way, the road less traveled as they say. And about just doing what you love without having to…..anything; just being yourself.
Let me know what are your thoughts on this book!
Hasta pronto!
xxelena

 

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