Are You An Amateur or a Professional?

Today, I read a post by Shane Parrish on his Farnam Street blog and couldnt resist sharing this with you. He tries to explain why some people are ultra successful and some are not, despite having similar knowledge or experience.

He goes on to share that one of the defining aspect that can explain this difference – Mindset.

How we see ourselves matters Click To Tweet

If we consider ourselves professionals, our chances of success goes up significantly. So, what makes one an amateur or a professional. Below is his take on the difference between amateurs and professionals.

Most of us are just amateurs.

Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is just the beginning.

Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a process.

Amateurs think they are good at everything. Professionals understand their circles of competence.

Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them as a person. Professionals know they have weak spots and seek out thoughtful criticism.

Amateurs value isolated performance. Think about the receiver who catches the ball once on a difficult throw. Professionals value consistency. Can I catch the ball in the same situation 9 times out of 10?

Amateurs give up at the first sign of trouble and assume they’re failures. Professionals see failure as part of the path to growth and mastery.

Amateurs don’t have any idea what improves the odds of achieving good outcomes. Professionals do.

Amateurs show up to practice to have fun. Professionals realize that what happens in practice happens in games.

Amateurs focus on identifying their weaknesses and improving them. Professionals focus on their strengths and on finding people who are strong where they are weak.

Amateurs think knowledge is power. Professionals pass on wisdom and advice.

Amateurs focus on being right. Professionals focus on getting the best outcome.

Amateurs focus on first-level thinking. Professionals focus on second-level thinking.

Amateurs think good outcomes are the result of their brilliance. Professionals understand when outcomes are the result of luck.

Amateurs focus on the short term. Professionals focus on the long term.

Amateurs focus on tearing other people down. Professionals focus on making everyone better.

Amateurs make decisions in committees so there is no one person responsible if things go wrong. Professionals make decisions as individuals and accept responsibility.

Amateurs blame others. Professionals accept responsibility.

Amateurs show up inconsistently. Professionals show up every day.

There are a host of other differences, but they can effectively be boiled down to two things: fear and reality.

Amateurs believe that the world should work the way they want it to. Professionals realize that they have to work with the world as they find it. Amateurs are scared — scared to be vulnerable and honest with themselves. Professionals feel like they are capable of handling almost anything.

Questions we need to ask is the following:

In which area of our lives are we acting like a professional and where do we act as amateurs? Which areas of our lives do need to become a professional in?

Here is the original blog:

The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals

This is one blog that I recommend everyone of us to read and follow. IF you do nothing but read everything that is written on this blog, you will end up much smarter than you start with.

 

Best Among What I Read Today – 19th May 2016

Best of What I read Today

I read a lot and on diverse topics. I used to share all the interesting stuff on Twitter and Facebook, but realised that searching for them at a later point (in case someone wants to find out more or I want to connect with someone) became extremely difficult.

Also, my friends said that it is easier for them if they can find all the interesting stuff that i find in one place so that they can visit one single post and decide to read something that they find interesting as well.

Hence, going forward, on days that i read and find interesting articles, blog posts, books, podcasts and any other piece of content, i will share them in a blog post titled – “Best Among What I Read Today” and publish on my blog.

Here is today’s content that i found interesting. You can look at all the past posts here.

The Short Run or the Long Run

In this short blog post, Seth Godin talks about the difference that short term thinking and long term thinking can have on our lives.

In his inimitable style, he articulated that all the short term, when put together forms the long term and that it is always better to think and act long term rather than short term.

You can read the entire post here.

5 Reasons We Forget Presentations

Almost all working professionals today have to deliver a presentation at some point or the other. If you are in sales, marketing or a senior manager, delivering compelling presentations is a key ingredient to your success.

In this slide deck, Dr. Carmen Simon shares her tips on how to craft and deliver presentations that your audience doesn’t forget. Dr. Simon is a cognitive neuroscientist and the co-founder of Reximedia.

The HP way – Dave Packard on how to run a company

In this post, Shane Parrish shares his take on the speech that Dave Packard delivered to his managers on multiple things like

  • Why does a company exists?
  • What does it mean to be a leader?
  • What are the responsibilities of a company to the society at large
  • And many more

I think these ethos is what enables HP to grow to the size it did during the time of the founders.

If you are a leader, run a business or a startup founder, this and the full text of the speech, which is linked in the post is a must read.

You can read the full post here.

Hope you enjoyed the post.. Do share any other interesting content that you found on the interwebs.. 🙂