Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice.
Two models as modes of salvation
When we hate our lives and ourselves, two models present themselves as modes of salvation:
The first is the therapeutic model. In the therapeutic model, we are told (or we tell ourselves) that we are ‘sick’. What ails us is a ‘condition’ or a ‘disease’.
A condition or a disease may be remedied by ‘treatment’. Right now, we are ‘ill’. After treatment, we will be ‘well.’ Then we will be happy and will be able to function productively in society and in the world. That’s one way of looking at our troubles.
The second way is the moralistic model. The moralistic model is about good and evil. The reason we are unhappy, we are told (or tell ourselves) is that we have done something ‘wrong.’ We have committed a ‘crime’ or a ‘sin.’ In some versions of the moralistic model, we don’t even have to have done anything wrong. The human being, we are told, was born wrong.
The answer to the condition of wrongness is punishment and penance. When we have ‘served our sentence’ and ‘atoned for our sins’ we will be ‘pardoned’ and ‘released.’ Then we will be happy and will be able to function productively in society and in the world.
The third model: The model of the amateur and the professional
The thesis is what ails you and me has nothing to do with being sick or being wrong. What ails us is that we are living our lives as amateurs.
The solution is that we turn pro.
Turning pro is free, but…
- It’s not easy. You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.
- It’s not without cost. When we turn pro, we give up a life with which we may have become extremely comfortable. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own. We may have to give up friends, lovers, even spouses.
- It demands sacrifice. The passage is often accompanied by an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It hurts. It’s messy and it’s scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.
Turning pro is not for anyone
We have to be a little crazy to do it, or even to want to. In many ways the passage chooses us; we don’t choose it. We simply have no alternative.
[bluebox]What we get when we turn pro is, we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and to live out.[/bluebox]
Do you remember where you were on 9/11? You’ll remember where you were when you turn pro!
Complement Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work with Don’t complain, create! Tina Roth Eisenberg, a Swiss born and raised graphic designer, runs four “side-projects gone businesses” out of DUMBO, Brooklyn.