Who is this Man And Why You Should Care?
I’ll reveal the secret at the end of this blog…but first…
What is Mastery?
Like true mastery? Is it a extreme high level of skill in one particular area?
Is it a social label that others give you?
While most ordinary people believe mastery is a destination…an achievement…accomplishment of some task…a life goal…
Ask the masters…and they’ll tell you something different.
Most people who we consider extremely talented or great…often went through tremendous struggle, practice, thinking…to achieve what they have accomplished.
On the outside…it looks so simple…like they were born naturally gifted. Yet..it’s only the end result that we see..and so our eyes deceive us behind the CAUSE of that result…which isn’t innate talent…isn’t destiny…
Just look at the back story on some of the greats above and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Path to Mastery is not a destination…meaning it isn’t a ‘Point A to Point B’ thing.
Instead…it’s fraught with little successes….interspersed between long periods of trial and error, practice, refinement…and determination to overcome the next hurdle.
Mastery is therefore…not a destination…but a mindset…a mindset of continuous and never-ending improvement. The PURSUIT of Perfection….
…..Not the ATTAINMENT of Perfection…because perfection doesn’t exist.
“Perfection is a ridiculously low standard because you can never achieve it.” – Tony Robbins
There is a huge difference between a person who sets his standard to perfection….and another who is committed to continuously pursuing a better and better version….it’s summed up in the mantra “it can be even better”.
Thus…those who have been ‘stricken’ with the disease of mastery….are COMPELLED to keep reaching new heights in their craft….always looking to reach a higher standard…yet never being SATISFIED that they’ve attained it….it’s almost obsessive!
You look at many of the greats….and you could say they reached the level they did due to greed of money, status…to fill a hole in their hearts…
Yet…you all know full well that this sort of motivation does not last…at least not to the degree that leads to what society would label as mastery or a high degree of acumen….which takes decades and lifetimes of dedication.
So in essence…rather than a destination…it’s a mindset of continuously getting better…that 0.0001% increase with each rep…each punch..each kick….doing it a little better each time..in some way shape or form.
The 5 Keys To Unlocking Your Potential and Skyrocket You Towards Mastery
George Leonard in his epic book ‘Mastery’, outlined 5 keys necessary to achieving mastery.
1. Instruction – Having the right instruction is paramount to mastery in an art. As smart as some of us may be…we don’t have enough time in our lies to re-invent the wheel. Mastery comes from learning from the best instruction….”standing on the shoulders of other giants”…and learning from them can mean the difference between a lifetime of passion and continual growth…instead of frustration and eventually fizzling out.
2. Practice – After instruction…the next thing is practice….so commonplace yet so true….what you don’t use…use lose…this goes for literally anything in life…did you know that one of the biggest challenges to deep-space exploration is that astronauts literally lose bone-density the longer they stay up there….because there’s no gravity pushing down on them? Continuous practice is necessary to not only keep getting better…but to at least stay where you are at.
3. Surrender – This one is the hardest key to mastery in my opinion. To surrender to the process of becoming. Knowing ahead of time…the challenges…the short-comings…and the re-adjustments along the way…sometimes making NEGATIVE process…and knowing it’s part of the journey. Surrendering to discouragement at times….and knowing that you’ll have to pick yourself up every time you do.
4. Visualize the Outcome – There’s been a lot of talk in the self-development world in the past years about a small book called ‘The Secret’. It’s a book which if I could sum it into one sentence…’Thoughts become things’. Before any improvement…see the 0.001% increase in improvement…or the change you want to make….how it feels…how things will look…and sound…and imagine it with such intensity that you begin to really create it with your body.
5. The Edge – Meaning….stepping just outside of your comfort zone…so you are forced to adapt to new and foreign stressors…which in the moment will tax the hell out of you….but in the long term make you stronger…By pushing our edge..we grow stronger…like weight lifting…always trying to lift just a little heavier…but not jumping immediately to the 100 lbs dumbbells….for me and Muay Thai..it was going from just showing up everyday to class…to eventually sparring and learning to hold my own…to competing…then finally trekking to Thailand…and on and on…with each lean into your personal edge..your fear…you internal power grows stronger and you become more rooted on your path to mastery.
Back to that Old Guy…
Who is that Old guy? Well it happens to be the worlds greatest sushi chef, Jiro Ono. That’s right…for the past 60 odd years..this guys has been perfecting the craft of slabbing rice onto slivers of raw fish. (obviously it’s much more complex than that…..but to the novice eye that’s what it looks like)
Here is a discussion between him and Rene Redzepi, one of the most famous chef’s in the world….and he drops some serious knowledge about mastery and achieving a high standard.
Intense huh? A man who loves his craft so much…he has been perfecting such a seemingly mundane thing…into world class art….Now what are you gonna do?!