The Strategist

Four keys to mastery

03/24/2017 - 14:41

"Mastery is a mysterious process in which what at first seems difficult, then comes more easily and brings more and more satisfaction thanks to constant training," George Leonard writes in his book, saying that this statement is true for anything you do. However, the most important thing is to understand that the path of mastery is by no means fast. Results will not be instant and easy, and that’s the truth. The very process of developing skills can be satisfactory, just you need to know some simple truths.

Key 1. Correct learning

If you are going to achieve mastery in a particular matter, then first of all you need to organize first-class training.

People can be trained in various forms. If you want to master a skill, there is nothing better than finding a master teacher who would teach you one-on-one or as part of a small group. He is your guiding light on the road to craftsmanship.

Yet, you can learn something new without a tutor. People, engaged in self-education, are on the path of probabilities. There are some advantages as you take an opportunity not to know what cannot be done. So, there is a chance to find treasures in places to which previous seekers simply did not pay attention. Some self-taught people, for example Thomas Edison, managed to achieve significant results. However, most of these people spent their lives reinventing a wheel, and this is the danger of independent learning.

Even those who manage to turn over conventional views or develop new methods, should know what exactly they are going to turn over.

Key 2. Training

"Exercise", or "practice" in this sense means something that is separated from our daily life. You practice in some skill, you practice in something to improve yourself, you do this in order to move forward, to achieve goals, to earn money. This way of thinking is considered useful in our society.

On the other hand, a person who embarked on the path of achieving mastery would regard this word as a noun. It's not what you do, but what you have, what you are. Practice or exercise as a noun can indicate everything that you do constantly, and that is an integral part of your life. You do this not to get something else, but actually for the sake of the process. It can be some kind of sport or martial art. It can be floriculture, bridge, yoga, meditation or social activities. A doctor deals with medicine, and a lawyer - with laws.

Conscious repetition of an exercise brings a sense of satisfaction, discovery of subtle nuances and endless richness of elements of the beloved art.

Key 3. Being submissive

Courage master is measured by his ability to obey. This means the ability to obey the teacher and the requirements of the deed to which you have dedicated yourself. And this requires the ability from time to time to retreat from the level of your hard-won skill in order to reach another or higher level.

Any person would get a sense of foolishness at the early stages of learning any serious matter. Almost inevitably you will feel awkward during this period. Are you ready to withstand this? If not, forget about your dream.

Your first drawing in the art school will most likely resemble a character from "South Park", not the image of the Mona Lisa. Is this the reason to leave art classes? And what about trembling knees at your first steps on ice? Such incidents happen not only with beginners. This happens with champions at the Olympics.

If you want to get there, then be prepared to endure.

Key 4. Step over the edge

All masters, almost without exception, are committed its fundamentals of their art. They are fanatics of training, subtle judges of the slightest nuances on the way to mastery.

Walking along the edge is a process of finding your equilibrium. It is necessary to clearly understand the moment when you go beyond your own safety. Sometimes, a person on the road to perfection decide to go over these boundaries quite consciously. This is especially evident in running. This kind of sports almost always requires to balance on the edge. Many run to overcome previously existing boundaries and expand them as far as possible, regardless of whether it is a first run of 400 meters or fighting for a triathlon victory.

Yet, before you think about stepping over the edge, you should teach, train, learn to be submissive and resolute. 

Based on 'Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment' by George Leonard

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