Monthly Mantra: March 2021
“I AM BETTER, STRONGER, AND MORE INSIGHTFUL THAN I WAS YESTERDAY. I AM MORE ALIGNED WITH MY PURPOSE THAN I’VE EVER BEEN BEFORE.”
For some, the pursuit of mastery may begin as an intuitive lure, an unconscious knowing about innate knack. For others, mastery begins with amateur curiosity: “I wonder if I could be good at this. I wonder if I could enjoy this.”
Either way, mastery is within all of our grasps. Unlike talent, which is sprinkled randomly throughout the population, anyone can achieve mastery. You don’t have to have been born with a certain skill set, or have a brain that’s wired for molecular bioengineering. You don’t have to be a naturally great dancer or painter. You need to be willing to practice. A lot. And to blunder and fumble and trip and cry, and not be deterred. (Mastery isn’t merely proof of competency, it’s also evidence of tenacity.)
Here’s the cool thing: mastery can happen organically. You’ve probably mastered a dozen or more things already in life, and you’re probably working to master several more right now. Sure, the obvious pursuits of greatness come to mind: mastery of an instrument, of a language, of a sport or vocation. But there is no hierarchy to mastery, itself. You might be achieving mastery of breastfeeding. Or learning choreographed dances. Or operating a camera. Or editing your belongings. You may even be, as Elizabeth Bishop put it, mastering the art of losing.
I’ll bet if you sat down and made a list, you’d be dazzled by the number of things you’ve mastered, and seeing that list might bolster your confidence to acquire mastery of more subjects.
This is key, because mastery is our refusal to accept mediocrity. And no matter how uncomfortable or aggravating the process of mastering can be, we feel our best when we’re engaged in mastering something at all times.
When we’re not actively mastering, we’re stagnating.
Whatever it is you’re deciding to be challenged by, and to continually improve in, you are mastering.
What you’ve mastered, you can teach.
What you own, you can give away.
Your proficiency becomes your offering.
Your expertise becomes your legacy.
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