In his book “Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work,” author Steven Pressfield says there are two kinds of people: professionals and amateurs.

The professional knows her life’s purpose, and she is taking the steps to make it happen.

The amateur, on the other hand, dabbles around the edges. He gives up when things get too hard. He gets distracted easily and fills his life with seemingly important things that do nothing to advance his life’s ambition.

“To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls,” Pressfield writes.

However, many of us pursue what Pressfield calls “shadow careers.” They may be similar to our life’s ambition, but not our true calling. We could be teaching writing instead of actually working on that novel that’s been rattling around in our brain. We could be working a desk job for an entrepreneur instead of pursuing that business dream we’ve had for years.

Shadow careers entail no real risk on our part. They keep us neatly tucked away in our comfort zone.

They are the first sign that we are running away from our true purpose.

"But I’m a really busy person," we tell ourselves. "I’m a mother/husband/graduate student/businesswoman and things are expected of me. I don’t have the time/energy/resources to do what I really want."

Pressfield gives a name to that push against our true selves: it’s called resistance, and we all feel it. It’s that palpable force that keep us from finishing hard things. If you have a half-finished story tucked away in a drawer, you know all about resistance. If you are 14 credits shy of a college degree, you know about resistance. Going pro means pushing right through that barrier anyway.

And it’s not easy to do.

We may think there’s no harm in our current way of life. The world is not waiting with baited breath for our novel, our business idea or our expertise as a costume designer.

Yet, as Pressfield points out, the artist and the addict are often two sides of the same coin.

“What’s the difference? The addict is the amateur; the artist is the professional. Both addict and artist are dealing with the same material, which is the pain of being human and the struggle against self-sabotage. But… (they) deal with these elements in fundamentally different ways.”

The addict turns to distraction or displacement activities. The addict surfs Facebook. She binge watches a Netflix series. She eats too many chocolate chip cookies or texts constantly with her friends. She over-parents. Or she may turn to truly harmful addictions: substance abuse or physical harm.

We sabotage our success because of fear. Rejection hurts. Putting our true selves out before the world takes courage and maybe a tiny bit of self-delusion. We stay away because we feel entirely inadequate.

However, I realized well into my 30s that the people succeeding at their dreams weren’t the best and the brightest; they were the ones who showed up every day and did the work. They stuck to their dreams while the rest of us gave up halfway through.

Turning pro is hard work. The act of creating anything requires us to pull from deep inside our souls. It requires us to confront the light and darkness of humanity. The resistance does not go away, not ever, but we give it a name and we fight past it.

Pressfield writes that in turning pro, our days become quite simple. They become a long, straight road instead of a meandering foot path.

“We now structure our hours not to flee from fear, but to confront it and overcome it," he writes. "We plan our activities in order to accomplish an aim. And we bring our will to bear so that we stick to this resolution.”

There are certain things the pro does: He shows up every day. He is not discouraged by failure (because it will surely happen.) He is patient and takes the long view. He is not afraid to ask for help. He does not get distracted. He lives in the present.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the creation of the world plays a large part in its worship, both in the scriptures and in temple instruction.

I believe this is for two reasons: One, we needed to be reminded of our origin, of the care through which God created this earthly dwelling. He wants us to be good stewards.

Second, he wants us to “go and do likewise.” We were born to create. You don’t have to tell a child to create. It comes from within them, the songs, the stories, the drawings and the big ideas.

I believe we are most like God when we are in the act of creating, be it families, relationships, artistic masterpieces or businesses that enhance the society in which we live.

When we turn pro, we understand this. We fulfill the measure of our creation.

It’s our unique path.

But we must take the first step.