MASTERY BY GEORGE LEONARD SUMMARY AND QUOTES
1. MASTERY IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE
The harsh truth is that anybody could become a master in any field but there is a high price to pay and almost nobody is willing to do so. When I used to see someone astonishingly successful I thought it was due to luck or just talent, it never occurred to me that behind what I was witnessing there could be endless hours of practice, sacrifice, trial and errors, setbacks, for athletes the chance of having to face many injuries.
It is easier for everybody to explain success by saying that someone is a genius, that they just got it easier than everybody else, admitting that a master is just a normal person it would mean that you are not doing nothing with your life, and you wasted basically half of your time, or even worst all of it, jumping from one interest to another, never accomplishing more than average results, not being able to push it harder to get on the other side of the plateau.
How many hobbies you and me have we tried and changed? Just because, after a while, we got frustrate by not getting quick and fast results, hoping to become the next Jimi Hendrix after a week of playing the guitar. Admitting to ourselves that we could have become successful by just spending time on the path of mastery is hard because it means we are not different from “talented people” and just to realize this we will have to challenge most of our beliefs, the most detested thing for the human race, so most of us prefer not to see the bigger picture and chose to go for the safe and lazy explication saying that successful people are lucky.
Mastery isn’t reserved for the super talented or even for those who are fortunate enough to have gotten an early start. It’s available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it- regardless of age, sex, or previous experience. (Mastery by George Leonard page 5)
2. THE MAGIC PILL
Look everywhere around you and you will find misleading ideas on how to become successful, today the magic pill is sold everywhere, from the spot on TV to the appealing title of a book that promise deep change with five minutes per day. Would you imagine someone buying a magazine, about getting back in shape, claiming that in order to become fit you will have to work hard, sweat a lot and take control of your diet? Truth doesn`t sell, the marketing industry knows it perfectly, so in order to keep up the sales figures they sell us the quick fix. Few people when looking a real master are able to see that behind his incredible success there is practice, commitment, surrender and love for the art, the average person will not be able to process all of this.
“The modern world can be viewed as a prodigious conspiracy against mastery. We’re continually bombarded with promises of immediate gratification, instant success, and fast, temporary relief, all of which lead in exactly the wrong direction.” (Mastery by George Leonard page 5)
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3. THE PLATEAU
The path to mastery is endless and full of plateau but the difference between the master and the novice is in his awareness of it.
“There’s a seemingly endless road ahead of you with numerous setbacks along the way and –most important- plenty of time on the plateau, where long hours of diligent practice gain you no apparent progress at all. ” (Mastery by George Leonard page 10)
4. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Why someone should spend so much time to achieve mastery? Well my suggestion is that you chose something that you love doing, something for which you will be willing to sacrifice a big part of your life. And in the end why not? What else should you do in your life that is more important than following your dreams and passions? When I was younger it never occurred to me that I could do something just for the joy of doing it and being able to not expect anything in return.Everybody that stays on the path for the long run has to learn to love the process.
“To love the plateau is to love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life” (Mastery by George Leonard page 49)
To become a master you have to learn to become a marathon runner, most of us , right now are sprinters that get out of the run after the firsts meters.
Cristiano Ronaldo is known to stay on the pitch training by himself when his team mates are already taking the shower. If the best football player in the world can do it, why not you and me?
“How do you best move toward mastery? To put it simply, you practice diligently, but you practice primarily for the sake of practice itself.” (Mastery by George Leonard page 17)
6. FIND JOY IN REPETITION
In my experience with flair bartending I had to learn it on my own skin ,not being really coordinate by nature ,I was spending hours and hours of training just to be able to perform one single movement and that`s how I learned to lose myself in the process.
“Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition, the discovery of endless richness in subtle variations on familiar themes.” (Mastery by George Leonard page 83)
7. SELF SABOTAGE
When someone says I want to be successful is lying ,on a surface level it could appear to be true , but on a deeper level that`s the really last thing they want, change means new and people are afraid of the unknown. Our brain does n`t really care if you are successful or not all that matters to it is that you are still alive. So when starting on your path be aware of your own self sabotage against changing things.
“Homeostasis, remember, doesn`t distinguish between what you would call change for the better and change for the worse. It resists all change.” (Mastery by George Leonard page 111)
8. CHOSE YOUR INFLUENCES
During the years you will have to say goodbye to people that are not supporting you becoming the best version of yourself. At times can be hard to let behind your olds friends, but is something necessary for your development to start friendships with people with the same passion and commitment. You are the average of the five people you spend time with, so start being aware of the influences, positives or negatives, that people around you have on yourself.
“Bear in mind that an entire system has to change when any part of it changes so don’t be surprised if some of the people you love start covertly or overtly undermining your self-improvement. It`s not that they wish you harm is just homeostasis at work.” (Mastery by George Leonard page 114)
When I was younger I used to spend days thinking about what was the best option, changing constantly my mind about it, then I started getting depressed because I didn`t really know what to do. In reality everyone of us, deep down, knows exactly what is the right thing to do but fear is preventing us to act, because most of the time the right thing is the hardest to do. What if we could do what is needed to without endless and useless thoughts pattern that lead us nowhere?
“Indecision leads to inaction, which leads to low energy, depression, despair.” (Mastery by George Leonard page 129)
10. FAILURE IS PART OF THE PROCESS
What you would call a big problem at the beginning of your journey towards mastery will become something to laugh about it, if will occur again just few years later. Falling is part of the process, every time you fall you will get back up stronger than before. That is why whenever a challenge occurs to me, I always see it as if it is helping me to move forward on my journey towards the best version of myself.
“There will be moments on the path, no matter how skillful and well-balanced you might be, when you ‘ll be knocked out of center.” (Mastery By George Leonard page 158)
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