At the beginning of this year I adopted the word “Professional” as my OneWord for 2013. At the time I thought I already was a professional. I was writing and about to publish a short e-book and open my blog up for subscription. Professional, I thought.
However, after a year adopting this word and trying to live it out, I now know the truth. I was an amateur, playing at being professional.
So how did adopting this word change me? Well it pushed me. It got me taking myself and my writing seriously. And it was scary. It was like walking out into the unknown blindfolded.
At the beginning of the year I was like Neo when he first visits the Oracle in ‘The Matrix’. I was almost convinced about myself and my calling. But it didn’t take much to undermine me. Because despite all my protestations, I didn’t really believe who I really was, or what I was called to do.
I thought I was a writer. But I didn’t know I was.
My ‘Neo Moment’
At the end of ‘The Matrix’ Neo has a moment. A moment when he stops thinking he is ‘The One’. And instead, he just knows it. No one has to tell him anymore. And from that moment, he is invincible. Unstoppable. He destroys enemies who previously had terrified him.
We all need to have our ‘Neo moments’. The moments we stop thinking we can be something, stop having to argue for our calling, stop having to convince ourselves – and just know. (you can tweet that here)
And at this point, I hadn’t had this moment.
Nevertheless, I threw myself into writing a book. I procrastinated for a while, but one weekend I decided to be intentional about writing the book. I wrote 8,000 words – almost double what I’d already written – in four days.
It was the last of these days where the ground really shifted. I sat down and wrote one of the key chapters. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I lost track of time. The rest of the world ceased to exist. I heard no sound apart from typing, words were going from my mind onto the screen in an instant.
When it was over, I went and sat down. Time seemed to have past so quickly I assumed it had been about half an hour. I causally looked at my watch.
Nearly three hours had passed.
I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I’d been writing for so long and not noticed the time. I thought back on how I’d felt when I was writing. The buzz, the energy, the joy, the sense of purpose which had coursed through my soul.
I realised I had felt more alive than at any other time in my life.
And in this moment of realisation, I knew. I knew I was born to write. Books, blog posts, even talks. I knew this was the purpose I was created for. My divine destiny.
I’d had my ‘Neo moment’.
And it was in this moment, I became a professional. I knew I had to do things well, to get my books proof read, my blog professionally designed. I had to take this thing seriously. And, also, I actually wanted to be a pro. I wanted to raise the bar in every possible way.
My life since is a story of discovering what I was meant to write. What might lie ahead in writing. And I’ve written more. I’ve finished the book. I’m becoming a better writer.
And although I’m more a pro than ever before, I’m still on the journey to become a real pro. But now I know who I was born to be. I know more what a professional really is, and what it takes to be one. And I know I want to be a professional.
I’ve had my ‘Neo moment’.
Have you had yours yet?
If you have, what are you doing about it? And if not, keep looking. It will find you. And then you’ll be unstoppable.
Are you with me?
Do you agree/disagree with me? Why?
Have you had your ‘Neo moment’? If so, how did it impact you?
Are you looking for it?
Let me know in the comments below!
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