5 Steps Towards the Art of Mastery in Life

5 Steps towards the journey of Mastery – unlocking the Genius.


The following 5 steps towards Mastery is by George Leonard

1. SURRENDER TO YOUR PASSION How can I describe the kind of person who is on a path to mastery? First, I don’t think it should be so dead serious. I think you should understand the joy of it, the fun of it. Being willing to see just how far you can go is the self-surpassing quality that we human beings are stuck with. Evolution is a whole long story of mastery. It’s being real. It’s being human. It’s being who we are.
2. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE I started Aikido at the age 47, got my first black belt at 52. In the process, I learned what this business of mastery is all about. For example, it once was thought that talent was absolutely important. The Greeks talk about this “divine spark.” That’s why you can become great. But I’ve learned that practice is the magic formula. Practice will make you good at anything you do. And here’s one of the insights I got after I wrote the book: we are practicing all the time.
3. GET A GUIDE What if you are practicing wrong? Then you get very good at doing something wrong. If we don’t get good instruction, then we don’t notice when it’s a little out of round. Surrender yourself to your teacher. That doesn’t mean you turn over your life to the teacher – you don’t want a guru. You have to keep the autonomy within yourself. You are finally the ultimate authority of your own practice. The best teachers are those who model the whole thing. They give immediate feedback, it’s generally positive, and they avoid lectures.
4. VISUALIZE THE OUTCOME You want to make it real and present in the realm of your consciousness. You don’t say “I’m going to do such and such.” – it already has happened. Now, is consciousness real? It exists and it is very powerful. The idea is to have this mesh between your consciousness – your visualization – and the so called material world.
5. PLAY THE EDGE There is a human striving for self-transcendence. It’s part of what makes us human. Wit all of our flaws we want to go a little bit further than we’ve gone before and maybe even further than anyone else has gone before. So we want to play the edge.

The full article by George Leonard that appeared in Esquire Magazine May 1987 Playing for Keeps







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