Here are the last three principles to mastery from Principles of Mastery Part 1. Did you get them right?
Once you have selected your abilities, you need to realize that you are not the best person that ever lived at your abilities or talents; so you need to take them to the gym. Abilities are like babies, if you want them to grow and become perfect, you need to feed them and train them. The best public speaker was not born like that, they took that gift to some bush and spoke to the trees; they spoke to anything and everything whether heard or not. They practiced the art until one day you saw the flare in their public speaking. But you think God somehow just blessed them with the gift and they had nothing to do with it.
Football legends don’t fall from heaven, these are individuals who take their talents to the gym; even after training with their fellow team mates, they take it a little further than everybody else.
Do not be cheated, no one is born with skill – this particular thing only comes after the gym.
Haven’t you ever wondered why not every man looks like Rambo? Are you telling me some men don’t have muscle? Everyone has muscle but it’s the muscle that goes to the gym that shows. Your abilities need training.
A master is not the person who only wins using one method. If your opponent steals your formula, what becomes of you? A master explores several ways of arriving at the same point. Explore your talents and discover several ways of scoring goals.
In the game of soccer, if you kick your penalties the same way, one day the goal-keepers will discover your trick and that will be the end of your goal scoring carrier. How interesting it is to watch grand masters doing their thing. People are mesmerized by magic; they will pay you for the magic you put in your skill. Become an explorer of your own abilities and let people fight to get your auto-graph. No one will ever want your auto-graph until you become an explorer of your talents.
There are no two ways about it and no short-cuts to mastery – if you want to master anything, doing it over and over, is the key. You cannot make piano master by playing one song per week; its repetition that does the job.
Back to my kung-fu movies analogy, I once watched a movie where a certain young monk wanted to learn kung-fu and he went to enroll at a monastery. His teacher’s first lesson was that of discipline and commitment. The young man was eager to learn so he thought this was good enough. His initial task was to sit by a river and slap the waters repeatedly with his palms. The first day he was all good, the second day came, the third came and went. He was looking forward to a time he would start learning kung-fu; a week past and he became inpatient.
He approached his teacher rather furious and disappointed: “I came here to learn kung-fu, not to sit by a river slapping water like a fool!!” his teacher watched him and said “patience my child, patience”.
Three months went by and it was time to go back on holiday to his family. At this stage he was so annoyed with the whole program that he had made up his mind he was going to quit.
His family saw him coming home and they were all excited and happy to see their son and brother back obviously with some kung-fu skills to show off to them and his peers.
At the dinner table, his family decided to enquire from him what he had learnt at the monastery. Angrily, he replied “I learnt literally nothing, am wasting my time there.”
“hmmm!!, am sure there is something you have picked up to show us!!” insisted his father.
“I don’t want to go back to that place!!” he replied.
“three months is a long time, you mean you were just sitting??” his mother added.
In anger, he slapped the dinner table on which they were eating from shouting “I told you I learnt nothing!!”
To the amazement of both his family and himself, the dinner table they once cherished broke into pieces after his one slap. It was then that he realized that the strength he had developed to break that strong table was as a result of those repeated slaps he was giving to that river of water.
To make master, you must overcome boredom that comes as a result of repetition.
The six points to mastery spell out the word MASTER.
Mission, Abilities, Select, Training, Explore and Repetition