Book Report: Mastery

Have you considered mastering a certain skill or perhaps a talent that you find interesting and that you’re really passionate about?

Do you find it difficult to sustain the spark of enthusiasm as you move your way up toward excellence?

If so, Mastery by George Leonard can guide you through your path of mastery. This book has helped me amplify my answer ‘yes’ to the question – “So, do you want to be an Entrepreneur?”

It gave me additional insights to help me prepare for my entrepreneurial journey so I would know what to do when faced with tiresome, dull, and unmotivated moments.

Don’t get me wrong, the book has little to do with tips and strategies in entrepreneurship but the principles it teaches can totally be applied to business pursuits especially if you want to know how to master certain entrepreneurial skills like marketing, improving relationships with customers, money management, public speaking, and generating cash flow to name a few.

This book totally focuses on mastering any skill you want to learn and conquer.

One of things I learned from this was about the approach of people to the path of mastery.

They can be categorized into three types of personality flaws – the dabbler, the obsessive, and the hacker.

I fell into the dabbler personality and knowing this helped me realize what habits or patterns I should avoid and look out for when mastering entrepreneurial skills.

It would also help me know how to handle situations whenever I’m approached by boredom, weariness, or what Leonard referred to as the plateau. We may think that plateau is the negative side of mastery but we should take time to use this to our advantage.

Leonard also shared five key elements to become successful in the path of mastery

  • instruction
  • practice
  • surrender
  • intentionality and
  • edge

I want to focus on emphasizing the key element: “Practice

Leonard says,

For one who is on the master’s journey, the word ‘practice’ is best conceived of as a noun, not as something you do but as something you have, something you are. In this sense, it means literally a road or path.

He continued,

Practice is the path upon which you travel.
Mastery is practice, mastery is staying on the path.

We all know that the first step to the road of mastery is to begin by practice just like the old saying protests, “Practice makes Perfect.”

And nowadays, many people find this too cliché. However, Leonard emphasized that ‘practice’ is the road, the path.

As an entrepreneur, I believe one of the key attribute I should possess is consistency. Being on the plateau will definitely be boring and not challenging at all, so I think that’s the big challenge. I must learn how to be consistent or how to consistently grow even when I hit plateaus in the stage of my entrepreneurial mastery.

My personal favorite was the chapter about homeostasis.

Leonard explained that every time we experienced a change in our system, our body tends to resist that change and goes back to a state of equilibrium.

He shared another list – five ways to counter-attack this process. As much as all of these five are equally important, two of them are my favorite.

The first – “Develop a support system.” I love this principle because this is where ‘Mentors’ come into place. Whenever we want to master a certain skill, having a mentor is very essential because they have been there – to where we want to be. So, they could really guide us and avoid those pitfalls, the consequences, and the drudgery trial-and-error system. And when entrepreneurial journey is concerned, you would barely succeed without a mentor.

The second counter-attack is to “Dedicate ourselves to Lifelong Learning.” Even before reading this book I am already a big advocate of education and I’m a committed lifelong learner. My personal belief is that when you stop learning, it is as if you also stopped your growth.

These principles I shared are just a few of the life lessons you can learn from this book.

It just so happens that I connected it to my entrepreneurial goals but as I mentioned earlier, the objective of the book is to help you master any skill or talent you want to be an expert of. Be it mastering the violin, improving your relationships, yoga, playing tennis – any skill.

So, if you’re ready to enhance some skills or talent, read Mastery and get on the path of mastery.

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