Last week I posted the poem Commitment. This week it’s all about mastery, or what it takes to become excellent in an endeavor.
I’ve also had this short article on mastery above my desk for over thirty years. It’s one a read when I want to think about achieving excellence. For me excellence is not only an external thing, but an internal one as well.
This article is written by Steward Emery. He was one of the original trainers working with Werner Erhard at EST. I find that after reading this article I will often give myself a bit of a break…but, not too much. Enjoy.
Mastery by Stewart Emery
MASTERY in one’s career and consciousness growth simply requires that we constantly product results beyond and out of the ordinary. Mastery is a product of consistently going beyond our limits. For most people, it starts with technical excellence in a chosen field and a commitment to that excellence. If you are willing to commit yourself to excellence, to surround yourself with things that represent this and miracles, your life will change. (When we speak of miracles, we speak of events or experiences in the real world which are beyond the ordinary.)
It’s remarkable how much mediocrity we live with, surrounding ourselves with daily reminders that the average is the acceptable. Our world suffers from terminal normality. Take a moment to assess all of the things around you that promote you being “average”. These are the things that keep you powerless to go beyond a “limit” you arbitrarily set for yourself. The first step to mastery is the removal of everything in your environment that represents mediocrity, removing those things are limiting. One way is to surround yourself with friends who ask more of you than you do. didn’t some of your best teachers, coaches, parents, etc.Another step on the path to mastery is the removal of resentment toward masters. Develop compassion for yourself so that you can be in the presence of masters and grow from that experience. Rather than comparing yourself and resenting people who have mastery, remain open and receptive: let the experience be like the planting of a seed within you that, with nourishment, will grow into your own individual mastery.
You see, we are all ordinary. But a master, rather than condemning himself for his “ordinariness”, will embrace it and use it as a foundation for building the extraordinary. Rather than using it as an excuse for inactivity, he will use it as a vehicle for correcting, which is essential, in the process of attaining mastery. You must be able to correct yourself without invalidating or condemning yourself to accept results and improve upon them. Correct, don’t protect. Correction is essential to power and mastery.
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