Franco Columbu: What will be the change in the mind when someone is training professionally in comparison to someone who is not training professionally?

Sri Chinmoy: There is not necessarily a great difference between the mental attitude of the amateur bodybuilder and the professional. But there is a possibility that a professional will pay more attention to money-power, name and fame, whereas the amateur practises only out of a desire for self-improvement or a love of the sport. To some extent he has freed himself from greed for money or fame or success, which is a heavy load to carry on one’s shoulders.

Sometimes the professional gets joy only by displaying his capacities, whereas the amateur gets spontaneous joy merely from developing his capacities. But again, many amateurs also love to display their strength and physical development. To a great extent it is a matter of inner attitude. While practising, the amateur needs to concentrate only on self-transcendence and self-improvement, which give him tremendous joy. But the professional is obliged to think of contests and competitions if he wants to be successful. He may get joy from his practice as well, but satisfaction will come only when victory descends upon him, and his capacities are recognised by others. He has to work harder than the amateur, because success-life is his goal, whereas progress-life is the goal of the amateur.

Of course, in success there can also be progress, since one usually has to reach a certain standard in order to defeat others. But while practising, the professional may not keep in mind the supreme necessity of progress. So the professional carries either consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly, a heavy burden to his difficult destination, while the amateur just walks, runs and flies to his beckoning destination.