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Ottawa, Ontario

Just a little corner of the interwebz where I occasionally jot down a thought or two. Why do I do it? Partly to communicate in some way with you, the reader, and partly because it's some sad way of leaving a legacy of some kind I guess.


professional vs. amateur

Jonathan Tom

Where does the line between the professional and the amateur lie these days. Originally I thought about this in terms of photography where the line itself seems to have blurred with the advent of reasonably priced digital cameras which leave everyone and their brothers thinking that they are now pro photographers. After some thought I realized that this really applies to a much wider gamut than I'd originally thought about, it can apply to your careers, your hobbies and more.

Credit where credit is due, this is not my work: the original article is here; I'm simply posting it for you, dear friends, to enjoy.

The professional never stops studying their craft. They never stop training, and they never stop trying to make the distinctions that allow them to improve their performance.

The amateur stops learning as soon as they achieve some basic level of competence. They stop training , and they don’t focus on learning more, even when it will improve their performance.

The professional is open to new ideas. They don’t criticize the way other people do things. Instead, they try to understand why someone else does it different, what that person sees, and how it might sometimes be useful.

The amateur isn’t open to new ideas. Because they are full of fear, they criticize and belittle new ideas and people who do things differently. They never look deep enough into something new or how it might benefit them.

The professional prepares. The professional has rituals that they have built and refined over time. This preparation allows them to deliver exceptional results.

To the amateur, preparation looks boring and unnecessary. They refuse to invest the time and energy into preparation, and because they are unprepared, they produce shoddy and haphazard results (when they produce any results).

The professional focuses on the fundamentals. They are never bored practicing something they have rehearsed and executed a thousand times before. It’s their mastery of the fundamentals that make them professional.