In the past month I have been thinking about the idea of what it means to be a master of something, and if there is such thing as mastery as a final outcome.
The answer I have established in my personal opinion is that mastery comes in TWO forms:
Mastery as a Final Outcome
Mastery as a final outcome is what a large portion of people gravitate to and will spend their whole lives attempting to hold a firm grip on. Little do they know that every time this is done, the elusive title evaporates into thin air as it whispers into their ears: “You thought you had me, but there is still further work to be done.”
The truth is that all the countless hours and dedication that you put into your craft is never finished and you are never really a master because of it.
Those that others, or yourself label as masters, in reverse wouldn’t label themselves as masters. If they did… then they’re finished, and might as well hang up their gloves and retire.
Contrary to popular belief, the label of mastery in my opinion is the equivalent to contempt, rather then fulfillment for the journey, or start to humble beginnings.
Here is the long-game version of mastery…
The Pursuit of Mastery
I am not attempting to debunk the elevated title of mastery, but more so the finality of what the word tends to present when we hear it.
Whenever you are putting in hours of diligent focus, active work and awareness into a particular craft… you are engaging in the pursuit of mastery.
When you hit a benchmark, personal record, percentage, emotional feeling, or whatever you deem as quantifiable to your achievement… you are inevitably engaging in the pursuit of mastery.
You see… we are never done with mastery, because if you are an individual that pushes boundaries mentally and physically, day after day you are simply in pursuit of mastery, not the finality, or labeling of what a “master” is.
The idea of finality is your greatest enemy because it will ultimately satiate your thirst for your purpose fuel.
Aspire and engage in the pursuit of mastery, but not the outcome, or finality of it.
An Abstract Concept Leads to a Humble Beginning
When I first watched it in the early 2000’s I was too young to grasp any of the meaningful and mind bending concepts such as the ‘blue pill vs. red pill’, and how Neo’s choice was a reflection to what people deal with in society when making decisions between the monotonous life of mediocrity and stagnation or the vigorous, unpredictable and potentially fulfilling life of the unknown path.
Depending on how you view life, there is a consequence for both, but you cannot titrate back and forth, you must choose one.
Now… one concept that I picked up after re-watching the movie, was when Morpheus entered the ‘Construct’ with Neo and explained to him that he was in a virtual simulation (The Matrix).
Here is how Morpheus describes it:
“This… is the Construct. It’s our loading program. We can load anything, from clothing, to equipment, weapons, training simulations… anything we need.”
The ‘Construct’ Is Your Mind
For a second, think about what it would be like to be in The Matrix. A virtual reality that you are able manipulate in order to see, hear and feel in a way that is fit for your environment and general necessities.
Why is the mind so different? It’s not, because that is what the pursuit of mastery is.
The true form of the mind is not only a populated junction of already acquired knowledge and skill-sets, but more so a vacant lot of white canvas ready to be put to use.
A populated canvas is purely another notch on your belt of reference, but it’s not a finality—it is progression.
Strategies to Program the ‘Construct’
If you’ve tried or implemented the following mindsets before and stopped, either it didn’t work for you… or there was a lack of commitment involved.
This article is written for individuals that need to re-establish habits that will help in their pursuit of mastery where they see fit in their own ‘Construct’.
Here Are 20 ‘Construct’ Programming Habits of an Individual in the Pursuit of Mastery
The pro-noun ‘they’ = you… or an elevated version of yourself that you aspire to be.
1) They have come to grips with the idea that they only have ONE body for the rest of their lives and they need to put in the necessary requirements to keep it mentally sharp and physically optimal.
2) They LEAD by example and understand that their followers, or disciples are watching their every move with a critical eye towards their ideas and actions. Are you working just as hard, if not harder then your students? If the answer is no, you have fallen off your own pursuit to mastery.
3) They create a system to plan and track what works and what doesn’t to evaluate and eventually re-calibrate their progress towards their current purpose.
4) They practice one, or multiple crafts a day and really put painstaking effort to hone it on a regular basis regardless of the instant fruit that it bears.
5) They are consistent in the sequence of the craft and as well as outside of it. This means that they are adaptable and cognizant of the areas they need to focus on, no matter what social conditioning has portrayed as “right”, or “wrong” in their environment, or current setting.
6) They share value and lead an ecosystem of like-minded individuals that have a thirst for similar channels of success. They avoid, or dis-associate with those that do not lift them up, or provide value to their current mindset and purpose.
7) They believe there is NO competition, and jealousy is the root to stagnation. You are your only competition; everyone else around you is unique in their own reality, so competition is just an illusion, not a driving force to achievement as many may think.
8) They have a strong sense of what their ‘Purpose Fuels’ and ‘Pleasure Fuels’ are and dedicate sufficient time to both in a healthy and sustainable manner.
9) They are in a constant flux of reading books from illustrious minds and they put those ideas into play when necessary to gain further insight in their world.
10) They PRACTICE being socially spontaneous without resistance, or stifled behavior during the process. Their door is open and ready to spark an interaction at anytime, while showing a genuine interests in doing so.
11) They don’t argue out of ego, or dogmatic beliefs, but more so guide and share their experiences and philosophy to help people think for themselves so they can create their own path.
12) They don’t horde data and information in pursuit of creating something superior, or highly entitled. They believe that providing value and sharing knowledge creates a collective manifestation that taps into something bigger then them.
13) They don’t blame others for their own external, or self-inflicting problems. Whatever adversity, or obstacle they face, these individuals understand that it is an opportunity to learn and evolve from it—rather then neglect the wisdom it potentiates.
14) They do not hold grudges, or spend energy gossiping about others. This act depletes their energy, and constricts them of focusing on ideas and deeper musings.
15) They do not believe in controlling, or forceful behaviors—only guidance and encouragement. Social pressure and accountability is needed at times, but in order for it to work, the other party needs to reciprocate their commitment to the idea as well.
16) They remind themselves to smile, speak with strong vocal tonality, hold eye contact, and engage in strong posture even when they don’t “feel” like it, or their emotions shy away from doing what is optimal. NO ONE is above the process, we must all have a duty in reminding ourselves to follow through with what works.
17) They never wait for good things to happen, they create their own opportunity instead and put themselves in uncomfortable positions from time to time to absorb a new feedback loop of results.
18) They INVEST in tools, or materials in excess only when it benefits their health, education, career, and business or to help others. Everything else is usually seen as pleasure fuels and is not necessary to install happiness.
19) They obsess to the point of mental and physical exhaustion for the love of the craft, rather then the necessity to stay productive.
20) They show great diversity in their ideas and indulge in a variety of practices. They don’t believe in only being good at one thing, because in their mind there is no one thing, it is ultimately a culmination of many different practices that has created who they are today.
Reflect, internalize and put into play my friends. These words are what I practice, as well as aspire to program in my own ‘Construct’ from time to time.
There is still so much to be learned and that is why taking steps to the pursuit of mastery is really the only option whether you are a beginner, intermediate or at an advanced level in your craft.
Everyday is an empty white space in your mind called the ‘Construct’ and it is your choice to either populate it with further knowledge and skill, or summon what you have already attained.
That right there… is a mixture between cultivation and continuation. The decision you make is irrelevant to your pursuit of mastery, but the requirement NO MATTER WHAT, is to do at least ONE EVERY SINGLE DAY.
You are the one.