If you really want to have success at what you’re doing, you gotta love it.
In the fight game, there are basically two classes of competitors: Amateurs, and Professionals.
Amateurs don’t get paid. They are essentially volunteers.
Professionals get paid.
That’s the main difference, on paper.
This dynamic is a great example of the two stages you need to go through in any endeavor–to be a professional, you must first be an amateur.
The word “amateur” has its roots in “amour,” and literally means “lover.” You have to love what you do. See what I’m saying?
Amateurs are lovers. Lovers of the training. Lovers of the grind. Lovers of the sacrifices required to be successful. Athletes who compete for the love of the game.
Athletes who don’t absolutely love the ups and downs, and the insane challenges involved with being successful as a combat sports athlete, never make it to the professional ranks.
Athletes who are more concerned with the exterior benefits of competition (awesome social media pictures, status, attention, etc.) don’t have the passion and grit to survive through the long valleys and plateaus that line the path towards success.
Now, you’d have to have a few screws loose to literally “love” every setback, injury, or disappointment along the way. That’s not realistic. But, having a healthy approach to these obstacles–appreciating the lessons taught by them–is absolutely essential.
Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs) has a quote: “Don’t follow your passion, but bring it with you.”
I would agree to a point–follow your passion, AND bring it with you. You’re gonna need it when things get rough.
That’s what being an amateur is all about. Loving what you do. All of it.
You gotta love it!