The Compassionate Professional

We are on day 7 of 10 at the Digital Book Club over at We are reading Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.

Steven provides an interesting example of the professional having compassion for herself:

I got the chance a few years ago to watch a famous trainer work with his thoroughbreds.

His example, however, isn’t about the trainer, but rather about the horse:

The work was serious, as in teaching the two-year-olds to enter the starting gate, and the horses were definitely learning. But the trainer took pains to make the schooling feel like fun. When a horse got tired, the trainer took him off the track. If a mount got bored or restive, the trainer never forced him to continue or drove him “through the pain.”

I think most interestingly:

He explained: > A horse is a flight animal. Even a stallion, if he can, will choose flight over confrontation.

There is a bit of a contradiction as earlier Steven says:

The professional acts in the face of fear

Even the most ardent professional can be worn down by fatigue and allow fear to creep back in. So, the professional must guard against this with compassion for herself.

We must take care of ourselves physically and emotionally if we are to be professional.