“I get it, it’s nice up here. You could just shut down all the systems, turn down all the lights, just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There’s nobody up here that can hurt you. It’s safe. What’s the point of going on? What’s the point of living? Your kid died, it doesn’t get any rougher than that. It’s still a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go then you just gotta get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride, you gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start living life. Hey, Ryan, it’s time to go home.” -Matt Kowalski, Gravity
Some days seem to be better than others.
The recognition that those days count as much as any other is the essence of professionalism.
A professional is someone who knows that he doesn’t have to feel good in order to do good.
In this interview with Behind the Brand, Mike Rowe advises, “don’t follow your passion, but always bring it along.”
A professional knows that inspiration won’t always take the lead. No success story ever begins or ends with “I never felt uninspired.” Turning pro is about recognizing that moods, like seasons, move in cycles, and that the temporary absence of enthusiasm doesn’t have to mean the absence of effort.
In The Hunger Angel, Herta Müller wrote: “To combat death you don’t need much of a life, just one that isn’t yet finished.”
Meaningful work, including the inner work of personal development, can always be done. The decision to plant one’s feet on the ground and put one foot in front of the other is neither cheapened nor trivialized by a lack of emotional fanfare.
Freedom is not something we can fully experience merely by passively inhaling the universe’s air. Freedom must be chosen. It must be embodied and expressed as the “the will to live.”
For the professional optimist, “I will” precedes “I feel.”