I’m sure there are parts of your life where you enjoy a high level of mastery. And there are probably areas in which you are striving for mastery.
In most all I offer clients there is a realization that what I am suggesting (while logically worthwhile) requires doing more, doing differently, and is difficult in some way. The inevitable question comes up: “Is it worth it?”
“Is it worth it” has two components. First is the concept of time. Do you have time to do something new? There is a lot baked into that question. Is there a quick fix instead? Can I do it faster? Wouldn’t six-minute abs really be great?
The second component of the “Is it worth it?” question is, do you want to make the effort? Just last Friday someone said to me, “I like it but we’ll only do it if it’s easy. It has to be easy.” Back to the six-minute abs. The effort to really be in great physical shape isn’t a single exercise but rather a complete change in lifestyle, requiring examination of multiple aspects of our existence. Not easy.
We can learn from inarguable masters – Leonardo da Vinci, Jack Nicklaus, Neil Peart, Henry Ford, and others. There are also wonderful examples of mastery in more mundane pursuits like training dogs, building relationships, playing ping-pong, or shopping.
I believe that the four catalysts of Personal Brilliance – Awareness, Curiosity, Focus, and Initiative – are the foundation for pursuing mastery.
Think about each of these four words for a moment and see how they tie in if you are working towards mastery in any given subject. Of course feel free to re-read the book if you want to get the full definition of these catalysts.
Time, finding passion, discipline, setting targets, training, testing, learning from failures, perseverance, are all additional components of mastery pursuit.
Getting back to the “Is it worth it?” question, there is a key misunderstanding that may seem obvious but many miss:
Mastery allows you to gain speed to do things more quickly. Speed isn’t the result of skipping steps, but rather that all of the steps are executed flawlessly.
We need to understand the steps completely. We have to understand the ‘why’ of each step. Only then can we decide how to apply those steps in an innovative way. It’s important to understand when observing masters at work because they make it look easy, perhaps even as if they are taking shortcuts.
To do this week: Consider mastery. Are you working toward mastery? Where are you in your development? Is there something you should pursue more purposefully? Make mastery a conscious goal. Build a plan.
Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.