Becoming a professional in your life means you will pay attention to the details because it's the small things that produce big results.
Being a professional, you know that how you do something is how you do everything, and nothing escapes this reality. Our habits bleed into every area of our lives, and our results come from our habits.
A professional does everything consciously, not unthinking and without purpose. Pros don't throw things down without a care; they deliberately place everything where it needs to be.
When they speak to others, they consider what effects their words might have; they don't blurt out whatever comes to mind. Pros don't cut corners to try and get faster results; they know there are no quick fixes and act accordingly.
They take the time to learn new things and seek out new challenges because new challenges are where the growth comes from.
The slob who makes a mess in a pubic washroom and the guy who doesn't follow through on appointments show the same lack of consideration for everybody else, too.
Whether it's the way you park your shoes when you get home or the words you choose to use when you talk to people, the big things happen because you have a handle on the small stuff.
When you wake up in the morning, as a pro, you have a success routine you follow every single day. Whatever it is, it gets done because you don't leave it to chance.
There are some who might cringe at the idea of a success routine because "I just want to do whatever, man." Don't worry; you already have a routine, too, but it's unconscious, not on purpose, and it brings chaos to your days.
You “don't have enough time” consistently because nothing is planned out, so it gets left out.
Success routines help us stay on track; they elevate our emotions, consistently. The opposite doesn't consistently produce.
Pros stay on top of their health and their relationships. They know that if they let these factors slip, they will not be successful in any other area, either.
A pro always cleans up after himself or herself because leaving work for others is a measuring stick of how far you have developed — or not developed — as a caring human being.
I can't count the number of times I've gone to a busy coffee shop, and when someone leaves the table, the dishes and junk get left, too. It's not a restaurant; if you leave your mess, then the next person to sit down will have to move it.
If you created it, you should deal with it; take responsibility for yourself.
There are no shortcuts to becoming a better person. You have to do the work to get the rewards; in fact, you should probably take on more work.
When I see dumbbells not racked at the gym — a daily occurrence — I always re-rack them. Why would I put in such an effort to clean up another person's mess?
Well, when I first started going to the gym, I adopted the behavior that seemed like the norm. At first, I put my stuff away, but slowly, over time, I started becoming another one of the gym slobs. A guy even told me one day, as I re-racked some plates, “Don't worry, buddy, just leave them there.”
The odds were against me, but I had an epiphany: “Why am I copying the lowest common denominator?” I realized that I was letting my environment negatively change me.
It was time to raise the bar. I decided to do the exact opposite of everyone else and actually re-rack weights, which I hadn't even used. This has to do with raising standards and setting a much better example than the norm. This means becoming a pro.
As a pro, you're always looking for new ways to improve your life and the lives of others around you. Don't take the shortcut because it will leave you worse off with a lower quality of life. The easy path has its consequences.
If you're a pro, it means you're purposeful, never a leaf in the wind, allowing unconscious conditioning to rule your existence. Amateurs bounce around, unaware of their habits and complain when they get results they did not want.
If you're ever tempted to avoid work to take the easy way out, just remember that when you put in the extra effort, the payoff will be a higher quality of life. The people around you will notice, too.
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