Mastery Demands Everything

artist

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” – Albert Einstein

                       

 So who are the grittiest folks I know?

There are many attributes that help create grit. Today I want to talk about one that truly fascinates me. The concept of mastery.

Mastery.

Throughout history certain people have become Masters  of their craft. Masters with a capital M.

I’m sure you can name 5 off the top of your head with no trouble.   I immediately think of artists like DaVinci, Yo-Yo Ma, Fellini, Hemingway, and Gauguin.

These folks are legends…. Masters.

You know what they all had in common? They chose to dedicate their time to their music, art, film-making, writing and work. They showed up when it was fun and easy, when things flowed and they were swimming in awards and accolades.  They also showed up when the work was tedious, hard, frustrating and lonely.

 They showed up when they were wildly successful and virtually unknown.

You too can be a Master, if you’re willing to pay the price. Because believe this: We all pay a price. Mastery demands everything from a person.

What stops us from becoming Masters?

Sometimes we give up learning for safety and comfort.

Do not get caught up in the ego driven pursuit of a life that looks good on paper. You know, the one you create for your parents or your spouse. The one that keeps you small and voiceless… scared and silent but physically comfortable. The pursuit that doesn’t really fit and that you don’t feel good claiming but you are too far in to stop. Yeah, that one.

                                                                          

We like to look behind instead of focusing on what’s ahead.

My marriage failed, my kids are not perfect. I have lost jobs and barely been able to pay bills on occasion.  I have disappointed people including my parents. Yet none of that can stop me from being great. It does not stop me from showing up, and it damn-sure does not predict my future. My past is over and it was not in vain. I will not waste one minute of it. It taught me about what matters, and more importantly who I am at my core.  I learned how to get back up.  I am not hell bent on running from my past or my failures, I use them to my advantage.

We let anger rule.

Do people piss me off? Why yes, they do butterfly. Yet I can’t spend my entire life being angry at what someone else did. I can’t waste my precious energy on something I have no control over. I can be angry and bitter or I can focus my energy on my craft. Consuming knowledge, connecting with engaging people, learning, and living. You need a positive attitude that will promote the mastery of your craft.

The need for visible progress.

 I moved from a house to a one bedroom apartment.  I drive a 10 year old car. I needed to make sure I could get two kids through college and I was willing to sacrifice to make that happen. I would have moved in with my mother if need be. On the outside it could look like I don’t have enough in my life, that I am unsuccessful. I should have more things… more stuff. We have to make short-term sacrifices for long-term wins. I had to define what I was willing to give up. What are you willing to give up?

 Research say that true mastery takes a minimum 10,000 hours. How would your life be changed if you were a Master of your craft?The Master of your life?

Racism hurts white folks too

Hello friends, The majority of my work focuses on how people from dominant groups oppress others and benefit from systems of oppression and inequality. But something that we don't talk about enough is the cost of oppression for people in dominant groups. I want to...

Do y’all want it, or do you want to say you did it?

We are on-boarded into organizations with assumptions and roles, mechanics, and structures of power and oppression already in place.  When we do the work of creating equity, we begin to dismantle these assumptions and mechanics. We unveil things about our...

Freedom School Returns

It's that time y'all, we're about to kick off another year of Freedom School! This year will be the last that we offer it and I hope you'll consider joining us. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my library working on this year's curriculum --as usual, it's going to...
Font Resize
Contrast