amateurWho doesn’t want to be the best? Most of us have the desire to be good at something. Some of us have the drive to become masters of our chosen interest. Drive and desire are important, but they aren’t the whole picture. So what does it take? How do we become good at things?

There have been thousands of books written on the subject and countless hours devoted to analyzing the question. Through it all, a few ideas pop up over and over again:

Get started. A little recklessness is needed to begin any new journey. One needs to let go of fears and take the leap into the unknown.
Don’t stop. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice! The way to become good at something is by doing that thing. We all would love a simpler answer, but the fact remains, practice makes perfect – you just have to do that thing and then keep doing it.

Don’t stand in your own way. We ourselves are often our own roadblocks, negatively telling ourselves that we aren’t smart enough or capable of learning this new thing. When we put our minds to mastering something and we let go of fears, we allow ourselves to access the part of us that is malleable and open to new ideas and ways.

Drop the Act. As much as we need to remain open to gaining new insight as we learn new things, it’s also important to have confidence in what you’ve learned and take personal pride in what you know. There comes a time, after working on developing a skill, when you need to drop the amateur act and step forward as the skilled person you’ve become. Do you want to be a pro? Act like a pro. This isn’t an inflated ego or posturing; this is inner confidence.

When you overcome demons of doubt and let go of the fear that the topic you’re pursuing it may be too difficult or the fear that you may have to spend many hours slaving over uninteresting details, you turn your life into a courageous action towards mastery. Then, learning becomes fun and entertaining.

Success fuels happiness and happiness fuels success.

Mastering the Art of Mastery
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