I ran into a fascinating book the other day. Mastery by George Leonard.

It’s a look at what it takes to achieve mastery in an area, be it sport, career, music or anything else. It references Aikido a lot, which is what drew me to it, but it’s not about martial arts.

It’s often asked why some people achieve such heights in certain areas. Often it’s written off as ‘talent’, the implication been those who don’t achieve such heights don’t because they don’t have the talent, and hence it’s not their fault. Talent may have some part to play, but the core of mastering any area is commitment, hard work and a lot of time. There’s no instant key to success.

George lists five keys to mastering a subject

  1. Instruction;
  2. Practice;
  3. Surrender;
  4. Intentionality;
  5. The Edge – Push the envelop.

The main point that he makes over and over is that success doesn’t come overnight. To master a subject requires a lot of time, not all of it fun. Without that time, dedication and commitment, there will not, there can not be results.

The book’s well worth the read, even if it’s just for a different perspective.

1 Comment

  1. arun

    i will use these concepts to hopefully 1 day master SQL ( 10 years time hopefully 🙂 )


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