If you haven’t had the chance to read George Leonard’s Mastery, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. I happened upon the book at the same time I picked up Blueprint to a Billion this summer and really couldn’t have found a better companion book.
You may forget that this book was written 15 years ago when you see the title for Chapter 3: America’s War Against Mastery. Could that be any more true today? Who among us is encouraged to simply stay on the path to mastery which can include long plateaus of no seeming progress?
And yet, who do we still revere – at least when Brit’s wearing her knickers? Those who have mastered something: sports, science, medicine, art. We still adore, admire and seek the Masters, but we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to become masters. It is a contrarian who stays on the Master’s path.
The introduction says it best, “the mysterious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.” It is a warning against the quick fix and end game solution. It is about taking pleasure in the path not simply enduring.
Perhaps my favorite snippet which refers to dishwashing. “You can perform that chore in a hurried and haphazard way, with your main goal being to get it behind you as quickly as possible. Or you can do it as meditation, a dance.” Can you see how much more pleasurable life could be if we chose to center ourselves and take the master’s path even in the most ordinary components of our daily lives.
Image courtesy of Jean-Pierre Dalbera