When Mike Tyson’s mentor in boxing Cus D’Amato was laying on his deathbed, Mike was distraught. Cus had taken Mike out of the ghetto and taught him how to box, how to be a man. And now he wouldn’t be around for Mike.
Even worse, Mike had a boxing match coming up that week. Mike told Cus he wasn’t going to fight since Cus was dying.
Cus said, “Mike, do you know what a professional is?”
Mike replied, “Yeah — a professional is someone who gets paid to –”
“No,” Cus interrupted. “A professional is a person who goes out and performs, no matter what he is feeling inside.”
Mike went out, demolished his opponent and won his first heavyweight belt.
If you want to be a pro at your work, you can’t afford to not feel like it. You can’t not show up — physically or mentally — because of some personal life troubles. A professional is counted on. A professional creates a standard that people expect you to live up to.
You must be the first to set and uphold that standard.