In Glasgow today is the graduation ceremony for my Master’s degree. I’m not going to be there, but mastery is on my mind – what it means, what is necessary for it to exist in our minds.
Some days mastery seems very far away, and you may feel that you are ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. If you’ve experienced it, you might feel like you’ll be wallowing in ‘jackdom’ forever, never reaching the level of excellence that makes you a master.
I’m sure that there is a well-known person behind the saying, but my mom is the one who told this to me the most – “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.
Mastery isn’t necessarily getting it perfect the first and every time, it seems more like a process or state of mind to me – so that it is totally possible for all of us to have personal mastery in all or parts of our lives.
There are a number of basic steps, or truths, that assist in personal mastery, which are:
Mastery requires Motivation and Desire
Napoleon Hill speaks of desire as being the starting point of all achievement. Without motivation or desire, we are happy to stumble along, never aiming for that next level that puts us on the path of mastery. Sometimes it helps the mind get on the path to motivation and mastery, by writing down the reasons for targeting mastery in a particular area of your life – when you realise the benefits of doing something different, you’ll notice that it’s a lot easier to get excited about it – that excitement and desire will help get you rolling.
Mastery requires Focus
If you get into a taxi and ask the driver to just drive around and hope you find yourself near your destination, you’re taking a big chance. The mind likes direction and focus – giving yourself a direction and end-point on which to converge. The clarity that’s used when setting your path for mastery will directly affect your ability to get to that outcome. Write it down, fantasize – the mind loves it.
Mastery requires Confidence
Self-belief is a key point in achieving personal mastery. Don’t have the confidence you need right now? Shakespeare wrote, “If you lack the virtue, act the virtue.” Our minds are often fooled by the way our body moves or the thoughts that run through our heads. Want ‘proof’? Clench your fists and scrunch up your shoulders, while furrowing your brow, frowning and breathing shallowly – if you start feeling stressed or anxious after a short while, remember you’re just picking up on (false) cues. Or break your big mastery goal to ‘mini-mastery’ goals and reach them – your confidence will soar.
Mastery requires Knowledge
You might have heard the saying “birds of a feather, flock together”, well it is the same with thoughts and knowledge. The mind loves association, or putting ‘like’ things together. You need to aim for the collection of specific knowledge to achieve mastery is a particular area. Understanding the way the mind works will also help – just like a soup that tastes better after sitting on the back burner, combining and enhancing the flavours, you can also use your ‘rest’ periods between active learning to scour for more – your mind will find associated resources to help you on your way.
Mastery requires Help
While mastery takes an active approach to personal knowledge collection, it can also use some help. This not only means that you may need to find others who possess the skills that you lack with whom to confer, but you can also use the ‘greater mind’ ability that seems to exist for all of us to access – this ranges from when you know something about a person you’ve just met, to using the characters of a TV show or a famous personality’s behaviour as a model on ‘what to do’. While you might be able to go it alone, the results are usually much richer with the input of others.
Mastery requires Love
Love for ourselves and others is also a factor in reaching a level of mastery. Through love it is possible to forgive foibles and errors and move on to greater heights. Through love can we access our greatest passions and tap into them, or inspire others to support or re-energise our efforts and journey. Emotions of the subconscious mind are the energy packs that help us get to where we want to go. “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Mastery requires Time
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, so too does mastery take some time – to collect the motivation, resources, support and growing ability within. Patience, and even more love, helps to give you, and your mind, the time it needs to move from a crawl to a walk to a run.
Mastery requires Completion
While mastery takes time, it also requires an end. The mind is a powerful thing and can be in a continual process of learning and improving but appreciates the direction of ‘enough’ – the time in which faith that you’ve done your best (even if later you can do better – it’s your best for now), complete a task and move on to different goals. It requires giving yourself permission to take a breath and appreciate the view of where you are right now. Once again, mastery isn’t a perfectionist’s endless search for the unattainable; it is the personal approval for your own growth and ability, seeing achievement as comfortable cabins in which to find shelter along the journey.
Take a few moments to revel in areas that you have mastered or are working on, and give yourselves new goals for areas in which you’d like to create more mastery.
This is going to be a great month.
What do you need help with to master? Working with the subconscious mind through hypnosis for change can speed up the learning curve – drop me a line to let me know what areas you’d like assistance with, and I’ll put it on the class schedule.
All the best in November – Happy Depavali, Selamat Hari Raya, American Thanksgiving and all other festivities happening this month.