Effort: Aim for Mastery

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In the book Mastery by Robert Greene, he discusses the concept of mastering a skill and the process required for achieving this mastery. If you are a high-performer or someone who desires to make waves in their field and have not yet read this book, I highly recommend that you do so. When we discuss mastery, what exactly are we looking to achieve? Many view the supposed “masters” in their respective fields with an unattainable reverence; the superstars we idolize seem to stand alone on pedestals that are simply out of reach for us mere mortals.

The truth is, the ability to attain mastery in a field has much less to do with natural ability or mysticism and much more to do with consistent, repeated effort. In a previous blog we discussed the importance of consistency with regard to achieving success. Using Kobe Bryant as a case study, it became clear that, although he was incredibly talented athletically, a huge reason for his success was his superhuman practice habits. He put in countless hours honing his craft so that he could execute on game day when the world was watching. This concept is at the very core of mastery.

Many of you are probably looking for shortcuts in your daily life right now. Life hacks are the newest craze, with people looking for creative ways to simplify their lives and make things easier. What if the need for comfort, simplicity and instant gratification is the very reason you are not where you want to be? What if these lifestyle choices are the reason that you place your idols on a pedestal and do not see them as peers? As Robert Greene states in Mastery, “Eventually, the time that was not spent on learning skills will catch up with you and the fall will be painful.” These “skills” apply to all aspects of your life; spend time being a student and seeking to work more and learn more instead of finding ways to simplify this process. Life experiences are the greatest teacher, so appreciate your time in the trenches and do not take these experiences for granted.

Mark and Chris Bell were recently guests on the Joe Rogan podcast and discussed the concept of having a “white belt mentality” that was handed down to them from several prominent martial arts instructors. For those who do not know the Bell brothers, they have revolutionized the powerlifting and strength training communities with informative documentaries, training equipment and training programs. This white belt mentality has been, in their mind, one of the key aspects of their success. Always be a student, always be learning and always seek the long road instead of pursuing the short game. The key ingredient for mastery, no matter what form it takes, is repeated effort over a long period of time. There is simply no magic formula or shortcuts on the road to greatness. Take time to appreciate and find enjoyment in the repetitive behaviors that contribute to your growth and development on a daily basis. These moments are critical to your progress and, ultimately, mastery in your pursuits.

Until next time.

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