There’s a challenge question related to mastery that Stuart Zadel sheds light on in this post.
I’d like you to take a moment and think about your answer this question…
How educated are you?
We’ve been told by those before us that the path to success is through traditional education. And so most of us went off to school and expected a bright future.
We’ve been conditioned to think that the concept of education follows a straight path: you attend class, you graduate, you get a job, you save money, and you retire happy.
But in the real world, that’s hardly ever the case. That’s because we’ve completely missed one crucial aspect of education: Learning.
Yes, we do learn theories and concepts at school that we’ll potentially use once we enter the workplace. But what significance does learning have when we only apply it to our profession?
You see the truth is, we can say that we’re educated enough for what we’re doing. But can we ever say we’ve learned enough?
For most people, education and learning don’t really go hand-in-hand. For them, once education stops, learning stops.
But for others, even when traditional education ends, learning goes on. And what these people are often striving for is something that’s scarce to the majority of us: Mastery.
So why focus on mastering something when you already know the basics? Well here’s why:
1. MASTERY HELPS YOU BECOME A BETTER LEARNER
When you want to master something, you invest your time, your energy, and often even your money into it. In the process, you become a better learner. You’ll discover what makes you learn a lot faster and how you can learn faster. You’ll also acquire the skills needed to master another discipline or strategy, or anything else that accelerates your growth.
2. YOU TRULY DISCOVER YOURSELF
Mastery takes time. And the time that it takes you to master something also unlocks facets of yourself you’ve never known before. You’ll discover discipline, commitment, perseverance, and you’ll discover how you handle setbacks and celebrate victories.
3. YOU’LL FEEL FULFILLED
The more you know, the more valuable you are to have around. That sense of value bestowed by other people on you will evoke feelings of contribution and reward. It encourages you to keep improving yourself. It motivates you to learn more about the field of your mastery. And eventually, it compels you to master something new.
4. YOU’LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
This is, perhaps, the best part of mastering something: you’ll likely go further than the rest. That little difference nearly always translates to a huge difference in terms of your approach in life, your mindset, and yes, almost certainly your financial freedom.
The great basketball player Michael Jordan summed it perfectly when he said:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
There are few people however that ever truly master anything. Sure they might become great at some things, or be widely-acknowledged as a competent jack-of-all-trades.
But think about this. Including yourself, how many people do you know personally that are true masters at what they do?
It’s time that you reflect and really start learning.