In Pressfield’s book, Turning Pro, he presents three models of self-transformation: therapeutic, moralistic, and amateur – professional.

  1. Therapeutic: After treatment, I’ll be happy.
  2. Moralistic: The reason I’m unhappy is that I did something wrong. After atoning or punishing myself, I’ll be able to be happy.

The third model – Turning Pro. It is not for everyone. It’s scary, maybe even crazy. It will come at a cost. Not a monetary one. One paid for through giving up our:

  • Comfortable life and routines.
  • Excuses that hold us back.
  • People who keep us small.

The upside is, when you turn pro you can embrace the unique calling of your soul.

To know your soul’s calling, and ignore it, is to turn away from yourself, your ambition, and your very reason for being. Turning away often leads to shadow careers.

Shadow Careers

Some of us, know what we are called to do, but we choose a less risky path. Others of us, have no idea about a mission. The shadow career is the safe job.

The one we’ll leave…when we’ve saved enough money. And we never do, because we spend unconsciously. Or it’s the career we’re “supposed” to pursue – lawyer instead of a park ranger, family business instead of writer, employee instead of freelancer.

Over the years, we can have more than one shadow career. Every professional job I’ve had that did not employ my creativity was a shadow career – working for a pipe cutting company, a software company, and Internet Service Provider, and a bank.

When I was in my 20’s I declared that I wanted to be a writer, I was in my 40’s when I finally started. I know now that my soul was calling for me to use my creativity. I’m at my best when I’m solving problems using my creativity – part of that comes through my writing.

Hit reply, and let me know. What have been your shadow career(s)?

The Day I Turned Pro

I remember the day I turned pro like it was yesterday.

It was a Tuesday. I’d been writing a newspaper column for six years, certified to co-lead the New Warrior Training Adventure for two and a half years, and coaching people on taking control of their money and lives for seven years. All creative work.

I was dissatisfied. In the middle of writing an email, I looked at my signature line…Matt Kelly.

In an instant, I changed it and my life perspective. I added, Writer|Facilitator|Coach

Matt Kelly – Writer|Facilitator|Coach

I put a stake in the ground. Daring to call me those things publicly.

The Amateur Life

It’s over now. And it served me in my growing up. Yes, it took me nearly 50 years. Giving it up hasn’t been easy and isn’t over every day. It’s a constant battle – me against the Resistance, my shadows.

Feeling Dissatisfied?

When you’re dissatisfied with your life, consider what is calling you to your most authentic and highest self. Then, decide if Turning Pro is for you.

“When we’re living as amateurs, we’re running away from our calling – meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves.” – Steven Pressfield

Live a Bold and Authentic Life