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Who is the Master?


‘All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.’~ T.E Lawrence

It is said that it takes three or four years to become a master at anything you put your mind to. Most people become a master at nothing, not even with the activities they love doing. Although some have the talent and skill, it is not utilized to the full potential, too many distractions get in the way.

Talent and skills are different from mastery. Talent you have, it is natural while skill can be developed. Mastery requires the combination between talent and skill to make any venture effortless. A master, in a deep and profound point of view is a person, who has trained day and night, gone through the agonizing pain squeezing out blood, sweat and tears, refusing to give up, persevere and stay determined, making the unnatural natural. At first the process or activity to be mastered is unnatural. With time and practise, the unnatural starts becoming and revealing the naturality of the process. The confidence level rise bringing with it clarity that it can be done.

Everybody has and is given 24 hours in a day. A lot of people waste it watching others mastering the art of acting on the television. Some people waste time clubbing and sleeping. There is nothing wrong with having a good time and it is good to socalize and get rest from hard work but if clubbing and sleeping are your only goals, your day’s target, then something is very wrong there, there is no hard work. The average hours of sleep is said to be eight hours. Eight hours is said to be needed to feel fully rejuvernated. Note that this is based on a feeling of rejuvenation and this can vary from person to person.

Donald Trump in one of his audiobooks (I think in the audiobook ‘Think Like A Champion’) says how he only gets four hours of sleep a day. Four hours according to Mr Trump is enough. You don’t want to waste the whole day sleeping. Donald Trump is a billionaire and is a master at what he does.

Think Like A Champion by Donald Trump

One of the best explanation of Mastery was by George Leonard in his book ‘Mastery’. George Leonard is a master at Aikido and even wrote a book called ‘The Way of Aikido’. Aikido takes roughly 15 years to master or be a grandmaster. Steven Seagal, the actor can vouch on this. Check out his biography.

In Mastery, pg 5, George Leonard explains what mastery is:

It resists definition yet can be instantly recognized. It comes in many varieties yet follows certain un-changing laws. It brngs rich rewards, yet is not really a goal or a destination but rather a process, a journey. We call this journey mastery, and tend to assume that it requires a special ticket available only to those born with exceptional abilities. But mastery isn’t reserved for the supertalented or even for those who are fortunate enough to have gotten an early start. It’s available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it–regardless of age, sex, or previous experience.

The trouble is that we have few, if any, maps to guide us on the journey or even to show us how to find the path. The modern world, in fact, can be viewed as a prodigious conspiracy against mastery. We’re continually bombarded with promises of immediate gratification, instant success, and fast, temporary relief, all of which lead in exactly the wrong direction…………………..The master’s journey can begin whenever you decide to learn any new skill……..

In other words, the road to Mastery is a process not a quick fix. One has to put in work to acquire the feelings and emotions behind mastery. The process brings lessons that cannot be taught and experience of enlightenment. Even the tolerance to pain has to be gained through the process. George Leonard sums up the process to Mastery in five key steps:

1) Instruction – learning how to yield to instruction is very important.
2) Practise – practising increases experience and gives feedback.
3) Surrender – surrendering to your teacher(s) and the demands of your discipline. Not complaining.
4) Intentionality – Your attitude, focus, your determination.
5) Edge – What are you going to sacrifice to practise in being a master.

Mastery by George Leonard

Bruce Lee did nothing but train, day and night, night and day. He would develop his mind by reading books on power, techniques, meditation and anything that would elevate the body and the mind. Investing all his time reading in his home library to be a better person, a mastered person so to speak. He would practise day and night to the point where sometimes he wouldn’t eat and he would be seen collapsing, fainting from over exertion. Through all his training he created a new form of martial art called Jeetkundo. He practised all forms to create this new form.

He was oftened heard telling his pupils to forget everything they have learned and know, don’t try remember anything but feel and flow. This boy that was bullied at a young age became a Master, reaching new plateau and surpassing expectations. Doctors said he would never walk again after a gruesome tornament match that ended with his spine broken, making him unable to walk. He didn’t listen and kept on training, soon his spine became stronger and he was able to walk again. He trained till he died.

Isaac Newton instead of partying and messing around during his summer holiday, invested all his time studying to find the law of gravity. Day and night, not pausing, he studied, locking himself in his home, surronded by journals, books and models striving to find the answer. He found it when an apple fell on him. Now Mr Newton’s name will be remembered forever. The law of gravity were not the only laws he found out, during is time of study, the three laws of momentum, which unforgettably are called Newton’s laws certifies his accomplishment and hard work.

Albert Einstein who was said to be dyslexic in his youth and was later classified a genius, did not see himself as a genius. He said that he was a man who was always questioning why and then sought out to find the answer. How far would you go? What are you willing to sacrifice?

Your attitude, your journey begins with you. As it has been heard reviberating throughout the echoes of history, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, it still bares great meaning today, right now. You have to see yourself as a master and hold on to the vision of it, the process is the blueprint into becoming what you see. That which you see, you can conceive. Mastery like in all states, levels and characteristics, begins from the inside out. Until you can look at yourself and believe in yourself answering the lingering question “Who is master?” with “I am”, then the motivation and the determination of the journey begins.

A Buddhist proverb states:

‘When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.’

Understand that this means that you’ll have to be ready to do what it takes and to take every struggle and pain that comes with the journey. Whatever your venture may be, mastery over yourself will always give you mastery of your environment.