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I finished reading Mastery by George Leonard. It is a great book with lessons for every aspect of a person's life. Leonard states that mastery is, “The mysterious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.” The main idea is that one needs to be engaged in a goalless endeavor. He writes about his experience in learning aikido. The masters of the martial arts seek to instill in their students the ideals of integrity, humility, and the endless pursuit of improvement. When seen in that light it makes sense to say mastery is without goals.
But Leonard also makes sure the reader understands that as learners we DO need to have goals...the point being once one achieves they must then set a new goal. It's an eternal process and I conclude the sooner we accept that their is no end to learning the better off we will be.
Without this concept in mind people are easily lulled into thinking once I accomplish "this" I can quit. But to quit is akin to agreeing to die.
And how does this relate to being an entrepreneur?
Well in building up a business one must keep up with the times. To become top selling in your niche is great but if you don't keep at it your business will surely fizzle and die.
Integrity and humility also go a long way towards assuring success with repeat customers.
I also liked this quote from Leonard, Mastery is practice. Mastery is staying on the path. Leonard writes, “‘How long will it take me to master Aikido?’ a prospective student asks. ‘How long do you expect to live?’ is the only respectable response.”
The author goes on to point out that practice is both a noun and a verb. In my book report that I wrote this week I said:
We can practice (verb) family harmony through the practice (noun) of family meals.
I then related practice and mastery to the visual imagery below:
Mastery is like hopping from rock to rock across a stream, mastery of life takes us from one plateau to the next, and we should never stop, and yet we should certainly enjoy the view along the way.
I do think we can become complacent and I know that taking the time to stimulate thought and engaging in new activities allows us to continue onward and upward towards greater things . . . and that is what life is really all about.