The Kill Shot
There’s always a way to burn away your passion for your craft.
I don’t care if you’re an Olympic athlete, or a weekend warrior. You can be the best at your craft or mediocre at best. No one is immune to this.
Just like a food you once loved can suddenly become nauseating after a traumatic incident, you can push yourself hard enough that the craft no longer has any appeal. It’s not easy, but it can happen if you aren’t careful with how immersed you are in the craft and the amount of pressure you place on yourself.
On the one hand, that pressure can help you improve. On the other hand, you may begin to equate your craft with a lot of pressure, which naturally induces stress. A delicate balance, then, is needed if you want to see improvement without pushing yourself away.
This is why it is vital that you set goals that are realistic for you. More importantly, the progression you set for yourself needs to be appropriate for you. As soon as you start comparing yourself to others and adjusting your progression accordingly, you’re putting the life of your passion in the hands of an external source. If this is alright with you, then feel free to continue. However, it is likely that avoiding burnout is high on your list of priorities.
This is why you must be weary of what I loosely think of as the “kill shot”. It’s the time in which you put so much pressure on yourself that you push yourself over the edge. Once that happens, the passion for your craft is lost, and it can be extremely difficult to get it back.
As such, be weary of advancing your training in your craft too fast. This can only result in placing so much stress on you that you lose the love for your craft. In this case, advancing slow and steady does win the race.
There’s no rush. Enjoy the journey in your craft, and take it slow.