Choosing The Path Of Mastery!

The heroic journey of working to become the best version of yourself is not an easy road. However, I personally believe it is one of our true reasons we are here on earth. One way of viewing this journey is that of a Path of Mastery. Martial arts provide an excellent vehicle for this pursuit.

I am aware that I have a bias towards the benefits of martial arts since I have trained Jiujitsu for the last 24 years and martial arts in general for 30 years.  I see Jiujitsu as one of the oldest and most effective systems of personal development. What I want to make clear is that the path of mastery is not just about learning Jiujitsu and becoming a world class competitor, but also about becoming your best self.  

However, you don’t have to be a martial artist to pursue a path of mastery.  Regardless of what you choose to master, the process is the same.

Aikido Master, George Leonard discusses the process in his book, Mastery.
He says, “We fail to realize that mastery is not absolute perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to  try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.”

He continues by saying  that the path and process to mastery  can be viewed  from one of the following persceptives:
1. Master
2. Dabbler
3. Obsessive 
4. Hacker

The Master: The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.

The Dabbler: Gets really into something for a while and loves the quick results but the moment the newness fades, he or she is off to the next new thing—rationalizing that it just wasn’t a good fit. Hence, no mastery.
 

The Obsessive: A bottom-line type of person who wants to get the tennis stroke right on the first lesson and, when results start to slow, pushes even harder to make it work, ignoring the fact that plateaus are part of the path of mastery—pushing and pushing mercilessly to create a continuing upward curve. Then? Injury/burnout/etc. Followed by a sharp, sharp decline. Hence, no mastery.

The Hacker: After sort of getting the hang of something, the hacker is content to stay at a plateau—never really improving his skills beyond the first basic level. Hacking, hacking, hacking. Hence, no mastery.

I believe we all have tendencies in each of the above. You can’t be a master of everything. However, I encourage you to be aware of those areas which you do wish to master. Be mindful of which path you are on, if you are on a journey seeking mastery.

If you wish to be a Master, we have a process. You just need to do four things:

1. Decide if you want to pursue the heroic master’s journey 
2. Commit to the process
3. Show up and follow the process with intention and a focused and directed mindset.
4. Don’t Quit