Turning Pro

I worked late last night at somebody’s mansion. A big, 20’s style house on a hill with 360 degree views of the city. And even though he’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the owner spent most of the night pacing frantically, trying to find the right words for exactly what he wanted to say.

“After a few months practice, David lamented to his teacher, “but I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers.” To which the Master replied “What makes you think that will ever change?” – Art & Fear

I am starting to think that maybe greatness comes not from transcending that disparity but from embracing and accepting it. Running wasn’t any easier yesterday than last April. I was still way more excited about the ‘idea’ of it than actually going out and doing it. It took 4 discarded posts until I fell into this one. I’m not still quite there yet either.

He eventually got it, or at least close enough to be satisfied. Then we moved onto the next thing and started the process over again early this morning.

The difference between he and I, I think, is that he’s spent the last decade well aware of the fact that it’ll always look better in his head than when it comes out of the factory. But that hasn’t changed him at all. That doesn’t stop the factory. I’m sure it kills him when something doesn’t come out perfect or he just can’t get it right. If we want to talk about Turning Pro, maybe the real mark is someone who understands the odds and does it anyway.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.