Mastery is a path, not a destination so I thought I would clarify a few things that have come up in comments . . .
So if you are a runner, does that mean you have to run for 1000 hours?
To be a great runner you must RUN, and you must understand nutrition, particularly your own nutrition, and you must understand hydration – race day versus training run, hot days versus cold days, and you must understand lacing patterns – how you tie your shoes depends on the course and the distance, and you must understand . . .
You get the idea.
For example, it took may many years for me to understand that citrus fruits were causing stomach cramps. I didn’t know – coaches kept handing me orange slices; I kept getting sick – I took it as a sign of athletic weakness.
Practically all sports drinks and mixes and race day stuff have citric acid. It took one killer race where I thought I was going to die on the course for me to realize that I can’t stomach citric acid. I only stayed on that course because so many friends were lining the race route and my best friend was right behind me. Glad I discovered it and glad it was so . . . distinct . . . I will not make that mistake again. Ever.
Miss the finish line once . ..
Miss the finish line once when Dave Scott the Father of Triathlons is handing out trophies . . .
Miss the finish line once when Dave Scott the Father of Triathlons is handing out trophies and you went from 2nd place to 4th because you missed the finish line . . .
. . . and he spends half the award ceremony gooning you about it . . .
Well, you’re on your way to Mastery at that point.
So, the 1000 hours is for you to be better than 95% percent of those who start in an area. To begin Mastery you must spend 5000 hours of deep practice. At 5000 hours you have achieved excellence. When you are on the Master’s path, the time builds naturally. You can’t help but focus more, improve, stumble back then experience brief blips of brilliance.
You can’t live for the brief blips of brilliance though, that is an ego expression. Mastery is surrendering to the learning and continual improvement. Mastery is the antithesis of Ego.
To become a Master you need 10,000 hours of deep practice. By the time you have reached 10,000 hours, you realize that it was never about being the top 1/2 of 1%. It was always about the process.
A Master’s work is never done. Thankfully so.