Goals - Mastery
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” ― Michelangelo
“The difference between a student and a master is, the master has failed more times than the student has tried” ― Mac Duke
“A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.” ― Miyamoto Musashi
“Eventually, you will hit upon a particular field, niche, or opportunity that suits you perfectly. You will recognize it when you find it because it will spark that childlike sense of wonder and excitement; it will feel right. Once found, everything will fall into place. You will learn more quickly and more deeply, your skills level will reach a point where you will be able to claim your independence from within the group you work for and move out on your own. you will determine your circumstances. As your own Master, you will no longer be subject to the whims of tyrannical bosses or scheming peers.” ― Robert Greene
Quotes courtesy of goodreads.com
The road to achieving your target and goals will be marked by ups and downs. Life is not a linear path but mirrors the journey taken to climb a mountain more or less in a zig zag manner marked by ascents and plateaus.
Achieving your objectives or learning new skills is not a straight forward venture. It will be a journey marked by three steps forward and one step backwards.
It will also be littered with many obstacles that force you to either smash them, side step them or choose another path around them. It takes time and effort.
Mastery in Display
Electronic games in any form are some of the best teachers on how to achieve our targets and goals. These games always start at a novice or beginner’s level which gradually climaxes at an advanced level.
One always starts from the bottom accumulating points before they reach their highest level. In between each level is a struggle “THE PLATEAU” where each gamer has to conquer obstacles before they reach the next milestone.
When a level or milestone is reached you always get the thrill and elation which pumps you up to tackle the next level. This is why gaming is a very popular and addictive past time.
Current statistics show that online gaming audiences are regularly surpassing records set by TV viewing audiences. The key difference is that games are interactive in nature and have the audience immersed in the experience.
They bring out the competitive and explorative spirit in individuals. The same level of ambition and mastery we try to achieve in gaming can be applied in real life for whatever goal we intend to achieve or skill we intend to learn.
The same analogy applies to martial arts and other physical sports. Karate, Judo , Mixed Martial Arts and all martial sports have grading systems from the white belt to the black belt. All have to start from the white belt and advance to the most revered status, the black belt.
We cannot go to black belt status automatically it takes time and effort to progress from one grade to the other. Many martial arts students have tried sparring with an opponent above their grade level. Most have been humbled and lived to tell the tale.
Most martial art students go on to accomplish and achieve greater success in life than most individuals who have never undertaken this rigorous sport. It teaches many invaluable lessons on goal setting and how to achieve goals. With this mental discipline and fortitude in place it’s quite easy for them to excel in other areas
Bruce Lee the late Kung Fu master was also an accomplished actor. His maxim was in order to live a meaningful life we had to conquer our plateaus.
Argentina and Rugby
I am a fan of Rugby. The southern hemisphere teams of New Zealand ‘ The All Blacks’, the South Africans ‘The Spring Boks’ and the Australians ‘The Wallabies’ have dominated rugby for quite sometime. It’s a national pastime and almost a national religion in these countries.
Minnows Argentina ‘the Pumas’ joined the annual ‘ Trinations’ southern competition in the last decade. Argentina were the whipping boys at first but have gradually improved their skill sets. These days any games against Argentina are no longer a walk over for the big names. Argentina is now pulling regular surprise wins over the big names.
This is the invisible hand of mastery taking over. Over time with the law of the compounding effect they are learning how to cope with the intensity of the game and go toe to toe with the giants.
Soccer- The English Premiership League
The English Premiership league is the most popular sports league in the world. It’s watched by very many countries in the entire globe and generates so much interest that world billionaires are scrambling to have a piece of the action.
I have watched the transformation of this league over time. There have been six dominant teams in this league for the last three decades. These are namely Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton.
The last decade has witnessed major upsets as these traditional six teams are been upstaged by minnows regularly. Manchester City, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United have upped their game. The league is now competitive and there are no guarantees of success for any team.
The invisible hand of mastery has been working behind the scenes at these clubs. They are acquiring talent in both the coaching and playing staff. They have been learning the methods deployed by the big teams and are finally matching them in the field.
The gulf in ability and capability has reduced significantly and games are now decided by bare margins. Embrace mastery it always pays off in the long ru
Transferring the same techniques in games and sports to real life is important. We always start at a beginner state, intermediate state and graduate to an advanced state. Nature dictates you have to go through all stages to attain any skill set in life.
Children are very good at mastering skills when they are young. They are not afraid to fail and repeat again until they have mastered a particular skill set.
We need to approach mastering skills and our goals with this mindset. If we had to learn how to walk when we were adults a majority of us would never have learnt how to walk. We would have given up after a few attempts. Mercifully this skill set and learning our first language were mastered early in life.
When you begin learning any activity you will really suck at it. You need to embrace the mindset of a child or a beginner.
Role of Mentors
There are ways and means to achieve rapid progress as you set out to achieve your targets and goals. There are mentors who can teach us methods that we can use to learn skills rapidly and avoid pitfalls as we learn these games and skills.
If you study chess prodigies, grandmasters and champions they always had great guides in their formative years and were constantly immersed in practice and competitive games . Seek a mentor, read books in that field of knowledge that will guide you as you start the journey.
The mentors know the skill sets, strategies and critical milestones you have to achieve before you attain mastery in any area. The key is to persevere and stick at it until you master the relevant skill set.
Champions are not born but made. Even the ‘geniuses’ and those with the natural aptitude for any tasks had to start from the beginner level before they advanced to their current status. The only difference between a successful individual and the failure is that the successful individual sticks to the task at hand and never gives up and always aims to master the next level and reach the top.
The top performers are willing to do what it takes to master each and every rung as they claw their way to the top. They do not let anyone or anything stand in their way of success.
Start, set the miles stones and embark on the journey. Do not be cowed down but aim for the top. Others may be ahead of you but the fight is between your ears and you need to stay in the ring of life. Be a championship boxer who will give as good as you get.
Throw your punches, absorb the blows and give the telling knockout to the areas you have feared to conquer. Remember mastery is always your ally if you give it time to do it’s work.
Mastery – The Keys To Success And Long-Term Fulfilment – George Leonard
Mastery- Robert Greene
Peak :How to Master Almost Anything – K Anders Ericsson